You may have had a sugary drink today — and there’s a high possibility it was soda. The most typical reason for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and obesity is consuming sugary soft drinks. However, sodas can also cause damage to your smile, potentially affect your dental health by causing cavities and even visible tooth decay.
Trusted Source published research on the effect of sports drinks & energy drinks on teeth in May/June 2012 General Dentistry. Researchers studied 22 beverages popular with young or school-aged people. They found that sports drinks and energy drinks harm teeth, so you should avoid these if possible.
Researchers have found that the acidity in energy drinks is two times higher than in sports drinks. Malic acid, citric acid, and phosphoric acid are present in many of these drinks. The lower pH can contribute to tooth enamel loss over time.
Men are more likely to consume soda and sweetened beverages, according to the CDC’s Trusted Source. Teenage boys consume the most at about 273 calories from these drinks each day. In their 20s and 30s, that number falls only slightly to 252 calories a day.
The sugars in soda interact with bacteria in your mouth to produce acid. This acid destroys your teeth. Both regular and sugar-free sodas have their acids, so both harm the teeth. With each gulp of soda, you’re starting a harmful reaction that lasts about 20 minutes. Your teeth are under constant assault if you drink soda frequently.
Two different effects can occur when you drink soda: enamel erosion and cavities.
The process of erosion is a chemical reaction. When acid from soft drinks, such as colas and lemonade, come into contact with your tooth, the acid starts to dissolve the enamel. Eventually, your teeth get worn down and become more susceptible to decay.
The longer you drink soft drinks, the greater your risk is for cavities. Consumption of soda is one of the most consistent factors in tooth loss. An eight-year study found that people who often drank soda had more than four times as many missing teeth and three times as many cavities in their adult years as those who didn’t drink soda.
Dentists see the consequences of beverages firsthand. The most common cause of tooth decay in children is juice. Energy drinks, which have a pH of 2.4, are even worse for teeth and can cause acid erosion.
Acid erosion is a severe dental problem affecting the tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to cavities. Acid encourages the development of germs. The more bacteria there is in your mouth, the more likely you will suffer from tooth and gum disease.
Some of the common side effects of drinking soda and other sugary drinks include tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and a change in the appearance of the teeth (they appear thinner and smaller). If you experience any of these issues, visit a dentist in Berkeley Heights for assessment and treatment.
The pH level indicates the availability of minerals in your saliva. The more acidic something is, the lower its pH level will be. Soft drinks and energy drinks are highly acidic—excess acid results in demineralizing or weakening enamel while increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body, but it isn’t impervious to wear and tear. The acid eats away enamel over time when you are not brushing or drinking water after having something acidic. Scientists have found that enamel gets worn away within 20 minutes after having food and drinks that contain acid.
One way to avoid damaging your teeth is by consuming healthy drinks, such as water and milk.
Also, chew sugar-free gum as it helps remove food particles stuck in between your teeth and freshens your breath, stimulates saliva production, and can even decrease dry mouth symptoms.
It is essential to visit a dental specialist near you regularly for assessment and routine cleaning to keep the teeth clean and free of cavities.
Visit James L Berkeypile DMD for more information about dental problem treatment and how to maintain healthy teeth.