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Prosecco brunches could cause ‘double whammy’ of tooth decay, says dental expert

Experts have warned that bottomless Prosecco are causing a rise in tooth decay, due to acid reflux.

The weekend treats are spreading in popularity, with diners enjoying drinking as much as fizz possible as they graze over a long, all-you-can-eat breakfast.

However, dental experts say the long meals can trigger two types of attack on the teeth, with sugar from the drink and acid reflux from heartburn and vomiting causing huge problems for diners.

The result is acid erosion to teeth that cannot be reversed, according to Dr Ben Atkins, a trustee of the Oral Health Foundation.

He now sees at least two cases a month of dental erosion caused by acid attacks compared to very few several years ago.

"We are seeing a dramatic increase in reflux in patients – stomach acid causes erosion of teeth," he said.

"The concern with something like bottomless brunches is the amount of alcohol that is being consumed in one sitting and eating food.

"There is an increased risk of vomiting afterwards that also causes damage.

"’The rise in reflux will be down to drinking and diet. If someone has had heartburn you are going to get acid in your mouth.

"Once enamel is destroyed it can’t be built back up naturally – you will have to have extensive dental treatment.

"With bottomless brunches the damage is also being caused by the acidity of the drink which is detrimental to teeth and the frequency of the acid attacks because it’s a bottomless brunch.

"On a Saturday night people may well also go out for curry and beers or more alcohol which is also going to affect teeth – it means enamel is under attack for the entire day which is also going to increase the risk of tooth decay.

"Irreversible damage to teeth from acid attacks can occur within 24 months. I am now seeing a couple of patients a month with dental erosion caused by acid attacks."

Dr Milad Shadrooh – known as the ‘Singing Dentist’ on YouTube – said he is concerned increasing numbers of people will suffer from ‘Prosecco smile’

He said: "It’s the acidic nature of Prosecco that causes the damage.

"It’s also the way in which you drink it – Prosecco hits your front teeth first and then rolls down and goes back over the top of the back teeth before you swallow it.

"What will happen over time is tooth erosion whereby you will see the front teeth will start to look greyish and more translucent because of enamel erosion and why that is, is because of the blackness from the back of your mouth shines through to your front teeth.

"The bottom teeth will start to see ringlets and tiny holes which expose the dentine.

"One of the reasons for this damage is the frequency with which you will be sipping which prolongs the expose to acid.

"There is also a lot of sugar and acid coming through from the food which is dreadful for tooth cavities."

According to Dr Shadrooh, what you do during and after your Prosecco brunch tcan minimise the damage.

He advises:
* Sip water in between drinks and swish with water to reduce the acidity in the mouth.
* Use a straw – if it’s a prosecco cocktail for example.
* Eat some cheese – cheese is an alkali so helps to neutralise the acid.
* Chew sugar free gum to help stimulate saliva production to wash away the acid.
* Do not brush immediately after drinking as this brushes away the softened layer of enamel. Use a fluoride mouthwash instead
* When you do brush as normal in the evening, use a toothpaste catered for enamel protection and remineralisation

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