Energy and Sports Drinks May Harm Tooth Enamel

A recent study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, has raised concern over the consumption of sports and energy drinks. The study found that consumption of sports drinks and, to a lesser extent, energy drinks is causing irreversible damage to teeth. Specifically, the high acidity levels in these drinks erode the tooth enamel (the glossy outer layer of the tooth).

In conducting this study, researchers tested the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks. They immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes and then immersed the samples in artificial saliva for two hours. They repeated this cycle four times a day for five days, storing the samples in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.

After only five days, researchers found considerable damage to the test enamel. The damage caused by the energy drinks was approximately twice the amount of damage caused by the sports drinks.

Damage to tooth enamel is irreversible and can leave the teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. It can also cause tooth sensitivity.

This study was not conducted on humans so it is not known whether or not human tooth enamel would experience the same damage from exposure to sports and energy drinks. Clearly, more research is needed on this important topic.

One of the ways to limit the risk of tooth enamel erosion is to rinse your mouth with water or to brush your teeth after drinking beverages with high acidity levels. You can also rinse with mouthwash.

For more information about sports and energy drinks and your tooth enamel, talk to a qualified dentist in your local area today. If you think your teeth may have been harmed due to exposure to beverages with high acidity levels, schedule an appointment today for a routine dental examination as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

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