If you consume sports and energy drinks on a regular basis, you could be harming your oral health considerably more than you realize. In fact, a study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry reveals that these increasingly popular beverages are causing irreversible damage to teeth.
Bathing Your Teeth in Acid
The lead author of the study Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, revealed why this is the case, particularly among adolescents. “Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda,” but “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
The study revealed that the acid contained in these sports and energy drinks can begin to erode your protective tooth enamel faster than you might realize. The results of this damaged enamel can include tooth decay, cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other serious oral health issues.
The Study of 13 Sports Drinks and 9 Energy Drinks
The study examined the acidity levels in thirteen sports drinks and nine energy drinks to see how these beverages impacted tooth enamel.
Human tooth enamel samples were immersed into each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by placing the samples in artificial saliva for two hours. This process was repeated four times per day over a five-day period, while keeping the samples stored in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.
What the Study Revealed
Researchers determined that the acidity levels of these beverages can vary with different brands, and even between flavors of the same brand.
Still, in as few as five days after exposure to both types of drinks, damage to the enamel was already evident. The study also revealed that energy drinks in particular were causing the most harm. In fact, researchers found that they caused twice the amount of damage to teeth than sports drinks.
Statistics show that some 30-50% of American teens consume energy drinks, with around 6 out of 10 consuming at least one per day. Therefore, this study should be of interest to many.
Share this information with your friends and family, and make the maintaining of a healthy mouth your priority. Making wise food and beverage choices, along with developing a good routine of oral healthcare can help you and your family maintain dazzling, healthy-looking smiles for a long time.
If your teeth have already become the victim of these acids, top cosmetic dentist in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Sharon Schindler can restore your teeth back to its normal beauty. She offers many services to stop tooth decay and periodontal disease while providing an aesthetic-appeal to your smile.
Contact us today to book your next professional consultation with Dr. Schindler.
Do you think that young ones realize how much the choices they make in the present will affect their future? How do you help your teens to understand? Please share your comments below.