Irreversible tooth damage? From sports drinks?
A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth. Specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, which is the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
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Worse, the researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks. In fact, the authors found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.
“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,” says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”