Soft drinks are one of the popular drinks throughout the world.
But do you know that soft drinks not only are high in sugar but also pose a threat to your health?
Thus, before popping the top of another can of your favorite soft drink, you might wanna stop and think about the harm it is doing.
The sugar in the carbonated beverages or carbonated soft drink interacts with the bacteria in your mouth.
Moreover, the juice you buy from the market like orange juice, lemon-lime, fruit and vegetable juice, coca cola, or lemon juice are artificially sweetened.
Moreover, carboned water contains carbon dioxide under pressure.
All of these carbonated drinks make a huge market share and are artificially sweetened.
Bacteria is normally present in your mouth and when you take care of regular oral and dental hygiene, it is removed from your mouth.
However, when you consume a lot of soft drinks, it not only interacts with the bacteria but also adds acids to your mouth.
Thus, within 20 minutes of drinking soda, it starts causing damage to your teeth.
So if you sip all day, your teeth are under constant attack by acids and bacteria,
Learn more about the sugar and acidic content of some of your favorite drinks, their effects on your teeth, and what you can do to prevent these effects.
Amount of Acid and Sugar in some of your favorite Drinks
The give you an idea of the amount of acid and sugar in some of the drinks, consider the following numbers:
- Pepsi: acidity of 4.5, 9.8 tsp of sugar
- Diet coke: acidity of 3.6, 0 tsp of sugar
- Sprite: acidity of 3.6, 9.0 tsp of sugar
- Battery Acid: acidity of 6, 0 tsp of sugar
- Mountain Dew: acidity of 3.7, 11 tsp of sugar
As you can see in the above values, there is a varying amount of sugar in each of these drinks as well as acidity.
Effects of specific Ingredients of Soda on your Oral Health
Soda consumption all around the world is increasing. As consumption is increasing, so is the number of diseases in society.
Soda contains certain chemicals that are linked to systemic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety.
Moreover, the concern is not only limited to systematic effects but, are also affecting oral health.
According to many studies, soda not only affects health conditions but also impacts behavioral health as well.
Certain ingredients that affect your teeth are as follows:
Effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup HFCS
Sodas use high fructose corn syrup HFCS as it is less expensive than sucrose.
As your body takes glucose and stores it in muscles and cells for energy consumption, if you consume them in high values, it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Moreover, it can also lead to diabetes.
When people do not get treatment for diabetes, it increases candidiasis, mucormycosis, which affects your sinus, and parotid enlargement.
This leads to burning mouths or tongues, dehydrations which leads to the formations of dental caries and partial dysgeusia.
Moreover, if you are suffering from diabetes, there is an increased risk of developing plaque in your mouth.
Overgrowth of the gingiva can thus lead to sudden tooth abscess, bone loss, tooth mobility, and even early tooth loss.
Effects of Caffeine on your teeth
As caffeine affects the functions of your overall body and brain, it also affects your oral cavity.
Moreover, it leads to early menstruation which increases the risk of recurring aphthous ulcers or canker sores.
Soda causes hormonal changes in young girls more than in young boys and can cause recurrent herpes simplex infections or cold sores.
Effects of Phosphoric Acid
Phosphoric acid of H3PO4 is a corrosive acid and is present in most sodas. Calcium dihydrogen phosphate is an important fertilizer ingredient.
It also plays a role in the natural preservation of soft drinks.
Phosphoric acid and citric acid are present in sodas to lower their pH.
These acidic ingredients affect your teeth and cause weakening to teeth enamel with a long exposure time.
It also removes the protective layer i.e. enamel and exposes the dentin. This eventually leads to tooth decay and sensitivity of the teeth.
Sugary Drinks affecting your Teeth
According to a study, half of the American population drinks sugary drinks and there is a good chance that it was Soda.
Moreover, according to a survey of the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, men and boys drink 273 calories of sugar through sodas.
When you drink soda, it converts the bacteria into acid in your mouth and this acid attacks your teeth.
Both regular and sugar-free drinks contain acids and these attack your teeth as well.
Main Effects of Soft Drinks on your Teeth
There are 2 mains effects soda has on your teeth. These are:
- Tooth erosion
This begins when the acid in your mouth attacks the tooth enamel which the outermost layer of your tooth.
As a result, the outermost layer of your tooth weakens and the second layer i.e. dentin is exposed.
However, sports drinks and fruit juices also cause damage to the dentin but they stop there.
Thus, it can also lead to tooth pain and sensitivity. Erosion is a serious dental issue because tooth enamel does not regenerate.
When soft drinks affect the enamel of your teeth, they also start affecting the dentin and even composite filling.
With this damage, cavities develop over time. Moreover, if you do not take care of your oral and dental hygiene, it can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and even the jaw bone.
How Sugar-Free Drinks hurt your Teeth
According to studies, in Oral Health CRC, sugar-free beverages, confectionery, and even sports drinks contain multiple acids and have low pH values.
Interestingly, many people are of the view that when they switch from regular soda to sugar-free drinks, they are able to avoid the harmful effects on teeth.
Although, they do not contain sugar, however, they do contain acids that can cause dental erosion.
Additionally, they contain phosphoric acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid that can damage your teeth.
Thus, the more your drink them, the more these acids weaken the tooth enamel and cause decay over time.
Are Some Sodas less damaging than Others?
Yes, however, there is no significant difference.
Both dark soda and light soda can cause damage to your teeth and you should avoid them.
if you are worried about the stains on your teeth because of these drinks, then remember, that even drinking dark sodas can cause discoloration or yellow teeth.
So if you think that white-colored sodas are better than them, then you have got the wrong idea.
According to a study in Maryland Baltimore Dental School, white sodas are especially harmful to your teeth because they contain flavor additives that can erode your teeth aggressively.
- Non-cola soft drinks cause two to five times the damage as darker drinks, such as Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper.
- Canned iced tea causes 30 times the enamel damage as brewed tea or coffee.
- Non-cola drinks cause up to 180 times more tooth enamel damage than did water.
- Root beer was the safest soft drink tested.
How to Prevent Damage Caused by Soft Drinks?
The obvious solution to prevent damage from soft drinks is to stop drinking them.
However, many of us do not seem to kick the habit. You can reduce the damage to your teeth by taking the following measures:
Use a Straw: Using a straw helps to keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth.
Rinse your Mouth: Rinsing your mouth after drinking soda will help wash away the remaining sugars and acids and also stop them from attacking.
Drink in Moderation: Do not drink more than one can each day, as the more you drink, the higher your chances of developing tooth decay and damage.
Drink Quickly: The longer to you take to drink soda, the more havoc it will cause in your mouth.
The faster you drink, the lower your chances of attack by acids and sugar in your mouth.
However, keep in mind that you should not use this as an excuse to drink soda twice a day.
Wait before your brush: Brushing your teeth right after drinking soda is not a good idea.
This is because friction against vulnerable acid-attacked teeth can do more harm than good.
Thus, wait for at least 30 to 0 minutes.
Regular Dental Cleanings: Regular dental checkups and examinations can help identify problems even before they worsen.
The Bottom Line
Soft drinks are a very popular and favorite beverage not only among adults but among children and teens as well. However, many studies have uncovered the potential health effects on your health.
They not only cause cardiovascular diseases, but they can also lead to kidney failure, osteoporosis, depression, and even stress.
Moderation is the key to using them. If you can, then avoid drinking them regularly, however, if not, drink only one can each day to prevent the dental issues it can potentially cause. Moreover, rinse your mouth after drinking them, drink them with a straw, and regular dental cleaning can help prevent the damage and even diagnose a dental issue in the early stages. You can use caffeine free beverages instead to minimize the harmful effects.