The biggest problem, at least from a dental standpoint, with things like soda and energy drinks, is the high acid levels found in them. It’s not just bad for your body, but drinks like this are horrible for your teeth.
These acids are the biggest cause of tooth erosion, which is exactly as its name implies. It’s the same thing as water eroding away at a sandy beach, only the beach is your mouth and the water is more like battery acid. And although Dr. Hall does provide dental implant procedures to replace severely damaged and lost teeth, we would like to help you prevent that from happening in the first place.
Tooth Erosion: Causes and Symptoms
Your teeth are protected by a substance called enamel. Believe it or not, enamel is the strongest substance in your body. Its purpose is simple, to protect your teeth from every harmful thing you’re likely to expose them to on a daily basis.
Enamel also protects the dentin, which contains microscopic tube-like structures that stimulate the nerves inside your teeth. These nerves are what sends pain signals to your brain when something hot or cold comes in contact with them. So when your enamel is worn down by frequent exposure to acidic drinks, your dentin, and therefore your nerves, are left with nothing to protect them.
Increased sensitivity is only one problem that highly acidic drinks can cause. Discoloration also occurs when the thinning enamel exposes more of the dentin underneath. The constant wearing away can also give your teeth a rounded, or even sand-blasted look. The more advanced stages of tooth erosion can produce cracks and roughness at the edges of your teeth and cupping, which are small dents that appear on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
University Settles the Score on Acid Levels
Recently the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa published their findings from a study analyzing the more common acidic drinks and determined what the worst drinks for your teeth are.
|pH Level||Sugar Amount Per 12-ounce serving|
|Pure Water||7.00 (Nuetral)||0.0|
|Coffee (Average, Black)||5.00||0.0|
|Barq’s Root Beet||4.61||10.71 tsp.|
|Diet Dr. Pepper||3.41||0.0|
|Red Bull Energy Drink||3.10||9.29 tsp.|
|Diet Mountain Dew||2.95||0.0|
|Dr. Pepper||2.92||9.64 tsp.|
|Mountain Dew||2.80||11.07 tsp.|
|Battery Acid!||1.00 (Acidic)||0.0|
This table is a very good guideline to follow and you should probably consult this the next time you have a craving for one of these drinks. While we recommend trying to cut out some of the worst ones altogether, we understand that realistically, that’s probably not going to happen for everyone. So, if some of the big offenders are things you drink every day, we highly recommend making an appointment with Dr. Hall today. Combined with regular dental visits, a rigid dental health regimen can help reduce some of the damage these products may have already done to your teeth.