Beware Of Over-consumption Of Sports And Energy Drinks
If you’re a big drinker of energy and sports drinks you might want to reconsider just how much you’re consuming. A new study finds that people who drink these beverages are “essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
The study published this past summer in the May/June issue of General Dentistry, examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks to study the drinks’ effects on tooth enamel. The researchers determined the acidity levels not only vary between brands they can vary between the different flavors among those brands.
Researchers immersed human tooth enamel into each beverage for 15 minutes to see just what effect the drinks would have. After the initial immersion the samples were then placed in artificial saliva for two hours, four times a day over a five day period.
The results were alarming, as few as five days after exposure to both sports and energy drinks the enamel was damaged. Energy drinks were particularly harmful; double the amount of damage as the sports drinks.
This information is especially important for teens because between 30 and 50 percent of teens have reported consuming energy drinks and up to 62 percent of teens saying they drink at least one sports drink per day.
Dentist Dr. Jennifer Bone, spokesperson for Academy of General Dentistry, the organization that publishes the journal, said in the statement that teens and adults should curb their intake of these types of drinks, “”Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal.”
The American Beverage Association disputes the research saying that because the study was not performed on humans it is simply not valid.
Good dental care is necessary regardless of what type of food and beverages we consume but Dr. Wagner cautions that anything with high amounts of sugar or acid should be kept to a minimum. He recommends watching teeth for the signs of damaged enamel which include: sensitivity, discoloration, cracks or chips and surface indentations. All of these may be a sign of trouble.
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