Dentists have warned women who drink sparking wine to be wary of ‘prosecco smile’.
They said the high sugar content could leave regular bubbly drinkers with rotten teeth.
That isn’t the only drawback – dentists also say young women (who are more likely than other groups to drink sparkling wine) risk developing a ‘prosecco smile’, where the teeth come out of the gum.
Prosecco has grown more and more popular in the UK in recent years, as the Italian drink is seen as a cheaper and tasty alternative to champagne.
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Dr Mervyn Druian, from the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, said: ‘Women especially enjoy prosecco but unlike wine, which you often have with a meal, it is very easy to just keep sipping prosecco and have a few glasses without noticing.
‘It is acidic and it has sugar in it so, while a few glasses are fine, if you drink too much of it you are going to have a problem.
‘The signs of prosecco smile are where the teeth come out of the gum.
‘It starts with a white line just below the gum, which if you probe it is a little bit soft, and that is the beginning of tooth decay which can lead to fillings and dental work.’
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser for the British Dental Association, said: ‘Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion.
‘Carbonated beverages get their fizz from the release of carbon dioxide, which dissolves into carbonic acid.
‘This provides a refreshing taste but also makes these drinks more acidic. Added to that, prosecco comes with about one teaspoon of sugar per flute.’
More than 40 million litres of prosecco were consumed in the UK last year, when the market grew by 34%.
Dentists said prosecco drinkers should wait a few hours before brushing their teeth to give the enamel time to harden.