Monster, Amp, Rockstar, Red Bull—energy drinks invented to supply mental and physical stimulation.
Backed by ingredients such as caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone, energy drinks can pose dangers to your teeth.
Dental care is the key to a healthy mouth—a longer life. While energy drinks taste good going down and provide a jolt of dynamism, they can be a jumpstart for tooth decay, gum disease and eventual loss of teeth.
A recent study published in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, validated that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially highest among youth, is initiating irreversible damage to teeth.
"Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are 'better' for them than soda," states Poonam Jain, BDS and lead author of the study. "Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
Researchers observed the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks by immersing a sample of human enamel into each beverage for 15 minutes. The study continued by immersing the enamel in saliva for two additional hours. These steps were repeated four times a day for five days.
"This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours," stated Dr. Jain.
The results indicated that the acidity levels fluctuate between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand.
They found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, and that energy drinks initiated twice the damage to teeth as sports drinks.
"Teens regularly come into my office with these types of symptoms, but they don't know why," said AGD spokesperson Jennifer Bone, DDS, MAGD. "We review their diet and snacking habits and then we discuss their consumption of these beverages. They don't realize that something as seemingly harmless as a sports or energy drink can do a lot of damage to their teeth."
Bones advises anyone that drinks these caffeinated drinks to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption. She added, “Patients should wait at least an hour to brush their teeth after consuming sports and energy drinks. Otherwise, they will be spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.”
To learn more about tooth decay, find a dentist in your area.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.