UK dentists have fallen under fire after claiming that drinking prosecco could lead to chronic tooth decay.
The popular Italian fizz has faced criticism by dental experts over the effects it can have on people’s oral health, with some suggesting its French rival is less damaging.
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific advisor for the British Dental Association, warned that the popular Italian fizz offers a “triple whammy” risk to oral health, with its carbonation, sweetness at alcohol putting people’s teeth at risk.
His comments were backed by Dr Mervyn Druian from the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry who said if people drinks too much of they could have a problem.
Dear @guardian, tell the truth: Prosecco makes British people smile too! Stop fake news please
— Maurizio Martina (@maumartina) August 30, 2017
But the warnings have sparked a fiery reaction from Italians, who have dismissed the attacks on their popular drink as ‘fake news’.
Italy’s agriculture minister Maurizio Martina tweeted: “Dear Guardian, tell the truth – prosecco makes British people smile too! Stop fake news please.”
Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, one of the regions where prosecco is produced, wrote on Twitter: “The British accuse Prosecco of ruining their teeth, but they know very well that where Prosecco is there is a smile.”
Other Italian figures, including Prosecco producers, accused the British press of ‘clickbait’
Gli inglesi accusano il Prosecco di rovinare i denti, ma sanno benissimo che dove c'è Prosecco c'è un sorriso. https://t.co/3f2fV3mrFv
— Luca Zaia (@zaiapresidente) August 30, 2017
The British Dental Association reportedly denied peddling “fake news” and said there was no war on prosecco, just advice that it should be consumed in moderation.
Prof Walmsley told the Telegraph: “News of British dentists declaring war on Italian prosecco has been greatly exaggerated.
“We have delivered the same message to buyers of American soft drinks, French champagne or home-grown smoothies. Oral health matters, and just because it doesn’t come in a can, doesn’t mean drinks taken to excess can’t harm your oral health.”