Sports Beverages May Cause More Tooth Damage Than Soda Sports Beverages May Cause More Tooth Damage Than Soda
While sports and energy drinks help athletes re-hydrate after a long workout, if consumed on a regular basis they can damage teeth. These beverages may cause irreversible damage to dental enamel, potentially resulting in severe tooth decay according to a study reported in the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's clinical journal. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth structure and shape, while protecting it from decay.
The study continuously exposed enamel from cavity-free molars and premolars to a variety of popular sports beverages, including energy drinks, fitness water and sports drinks, as well as non-cola beverages such as lemonade and ice tea for a period of 14 days (336 hours). The exposure time was comparable to approximately 13 years of normal beverage consumption.
The study findings revealed that there was significant enamel damage associated with all beverages tested. Cola-based drinks may contain one or more acids, commonly phosphoric and citric acids; however, sports beverages contain other additives and organic acids that can advance dental erosion. These organic acids are potentially very erosive to dental enamel because of their ability to break down calcium, which is needed to strengthen teeth and prevent gum disease.
"These findings are important and suggest that caution should be exercised when sipping popular sports beverages over long periods of time," said AGD spokesperson and president-elect Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD. "We recommend altering or limiting the intake of soda and sports drinks and choosing water or milk instead, to preserve tooth enamel and ultimately protect teeth from decay."
Dentists advise that people limit their intake of soda and sports drinks to prevent tooth damage.