Soda Intake Associated with Erosive Tooth Wear

Most know that sugary drinks may lead to cavities, but research published in the February 2016 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests sugar can do even more than that to your teeth.

Researchers found that a high intake of sweet carbonated drinks — soda —was associated with erosive tooth wear, or a thinning of the hard coating of a tooth, in adolescents at a school in Mexico City.

Researchers issued a questionnaire to teens between the ages 14 to 19 regarding the intake of fruit juice, sports drinks and sweet carbonated drinks, among other food items. The teenagers were also examined for erosive tooth wear. Results of the study showed that the overall prevalence of erosive tooth wear was 31.7 percent, with sweet carbonated drinks causing the most erosion.

Tooth erosion is considered an important risk factor for decreasing the whiteness of one’s teeth, how well they function and how long they last, according to researchers.

"While this is an ex-U.S. study, the findings are meaningful to everyone who cares about the health and wellness of children," said Dr. Yasmi O. Crystal, professor of pediatric dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry, in a news release about the study. "These findings support calls from the World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the intake of added sugars. Limiting the intake of sweetened carbonated beverages can help patients and our health care system as a whole."

Furthermore, foods and drinks that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay, or cavities, according to the American Dental Association’s consumer health website, MouthHealthy.org. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas, can also dry out your mouth. The ADA’s MouthHeathy.org suggests drinking a cup of water alongside any sodas or sugary drinks.

For more information about diet and dental health, visit MouthHealthy.org. For more information about the study, visit jada.ADA.org.

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