Have you stopped drinking sweetened drinks just for the sake of your teeth and think now there’s nothing that can affect health of your teeth. It’s time to think again as a new study has warned that not only sweetened drinks but sugar-free drinks also cause damage to the tooth enamel in fact, the damage is accountable and measurable.
For the study, researchers from the Melbourne’sOral Heath Cooperative Research Centre examined 23 different types of soft drinks and sports drinks. After testing in the lab, researchers found that drinks containing acidic additives and having low pH levels can damage health of teeth by a significant amount. Acidic additives in the drinks adversely affect tooth enamel even if the drink is sugar-free.
The study involved measurement of dental enamel softening and tooth surface loss after exposure to various drinks. It was noted that almost every drink both sugar and sugar-free drinks caused softening of dental enamel by 30-50 percent. However, researchers were astonished to see that there was hardly any difference between the effect of sugar-containing and sugar-free drinks.
While explaining Eric Reynolds, CEO of the Oral Health CRC said that many people think that only sugar intake causes damage to the teeth and sugar-free drinks are safe to drink. However, people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion.
“Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the hard tissues of the tooth. In its early stages erosion strips away the surface layers of tooth enamel. If it progresses to an advanced stage it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth,” said Reynolds. He further added that dental erosion can be controlled by dental treatments under professional’s care.
Moreover, he warned people that sugar-free drinks are considered as ‘tooth friendly’ automatically, however, they can be erosive and cause damage to tooth enamel.