Bubble tea puts consumers at risk of tooth damage

The impression is deceptive: Bubble tea is considered healthy but, as a matter of fact, it contains a high amount of sugar and calories

Jul 25, 2012 | EUROPE

by Dental Tribune International

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FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Germany: Bubble tea shops are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, as the Taiwanese trend spreads, criticism has grown. Dentists have now once again strongly cautioned that the consumption of sweetened drinks can lead to an increased risk of caries.

While the drink is called “tea” and has a tea base, it also contains milk, sugar syrup and artificial flavours. A cup of the beverage contains up to 500 calories and 20 to 30 cubes of sugar. Extremely sweet flavours with milk have an even higher sugar content than Coke.

Especially for children, the high number of calories and high amount of sugar is dangerous and can lead to tooth decay and obesity. “Because of the fresh fruits on the billboards and the label ‘tea’, many parents think the coloured sugar drinks are a harmless or even healthy way to get children to drink more. The caries risk and the many calories are simply overlooked. It has to be stated quite clearly that bubble tea is a heavily sweetened soft drink and not a sugar-free and therefore pro-dental health drink,” Dr Antje Köster-Schmidt, board member of the dental association of the state of Hessen,Germany, commented.

Other German institutions have also cautioned against uninformed consumption of bubble tea. The Alliance’90/The Greens political party recently submitted 35 questions regarding the drink to the federal government, requesting an investigation into health concerns mainly.

The German consumer protection authority, a large German insurance company and the Professional Association of Paediatricians have also raised the alarm. “The popular drink is dangerous for young children. Sucking the peanut-sized balls through a straw requires significant suction. If the balls enter the lungs via the trachea, this could lead to pneumonia or lung collapse,” the association’s president, Dr Wolfram Hartmann, told the German news website Spiegel Online. As reported by the magazine, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment does not officially consider the tea a health risk but warns that there is a risk of inhaling foreign objects into the lungs, particularly for children younger than four.

A test recently carried out by the German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest found that the majority of the teas contain tartrazine (E102) and Allura Red AC (E129), which, according to the organisation, are thought to cause hyperactivity and attention deficits in children


For further information contact  the Harrow Dental Centre  via our web site http://www.harrow-dentist.com or call us on 020 84272543 

Tooth Sensitivity and Your Smile

August 2012

tooth sensitivityEvery year, dentists all across the country hear complaints from their patients about tooth sensitivity. As a common oral health problem, tooth sensitivity is caused when the gums recede, exposing tooth roots. When hot or cold stimuli come into contact with these roots, a sensation is passed through the tubules in the roots directly to the nerve of the tooth, creating pain.

But, you might be wondering, what causes the gums to recede in the first place? Here are five of them:

Age – Believe it or not, aging plays a role in the level of tooth sensitivity you might experience. Research indicates that patients who are between 25 and 30 could experience more sensitivity than patients of other ages.

Brushing Technique – Depending on how you brush, you could be wearing down the enamel on your teeth, in the process exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. What’s more, brushing incorrectly can also harm the soft tissue of the gums and cause tooth roots to become exposed.

Bruxism – Bruxism is a medical term for something more simple and common—teeth grinding. Patients who struggle with teeth grinding may, over time, cause hairline fractures to develop in their teeth, making them vulnerable to hot or cold stimuli. What’s more, teeth grinding can also wreak havoc on tooth enamel, resulting in erosion of this protective barrier.

Cracked Teeth – When cracks develop in a tooth, it’s possible for bacteria to find a way inside, where it can irritate the interior pulp. As a result, teeth can respond negatively, with the end result being sensitivity.

Gum Disease – Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque that have built up around the teeth and gums. If left untreated, this common oral health problem will eventually result in the loss of gum tissue. As a result, tooth roots are exposed and left vulnerable to outside stimuli.

How Can I Protect My Teeth?

If you have problems with sensitive teeth, here are a few tips to keep in mind. First, try using a toothpaste brand that treats sensitivity. For many patients, this can bring the much-needed relief they’ve been looking for. Second, finish your brushing and flossing routine by rinsing with a fluoride rinse. Fluoride draws important minerals to teeth, strengthening them in the process. And lastly, visit your local dentist. By talking to your dentist and letting him or her see your smile, other recommendations can be made about how to help your smile..

Contact us if you have any questions at the Harrow Denatl Centre at www.harrow-dentist.com or call on 020 84272543

With acknowledgements and thanks to Best Dentist News