It is not what we eat or drink that effects tooth erosion but how we eat or drink .Tooth erosion — also known as dental erosion or acid erosion — occurs when acids wear away tooth enamel, which is the substance that coats the outer layer of each tooth. Over time, this erosion could give rise to tooth discoloration, sensitivity and in the extreme, even tooth loss. Unsurprisingly, the analysis revealed that acidic foods and drinks posed the greatest risk of tooth erosion.
The risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion is reported to be 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently. When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion may be reduced by half.
Interestingly, the researchers found that adding fruit flavourings to beverages — for example, adding lemon to hot water — made them just as acidic as cola.
Your teeth are strong, but they’re not indestructible. Most popular drinks are very high in acid, and this acidity can damage your enamel. Once it is damaged, you’ll need your dentist’s help so that it doesn’t wear away more..
Dangers of Acidic Drinks
Drinks with a low pH level can cause a variety of oral health problems, but it begins when they eat away at the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Enamel erosion is a problem because enamel that becomes destroyed can’t grow back. Unlike other materials in your body, your enamel doesn’t have any living cells, so there’s no way for it to heal itself.
When your tooth enamel erodes, the sensitive, yellow-coloured dentine underneath is exposed. This is why your teeth will start to look discoloured when you don’t take care of them. But the exposed dentine doesn’t just have cosmetic downsides; it can also lead to painful dental conditions like tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth experience pain when they drink or bite into hot, cold, sweet, acidic or spicy foods and drinks, and it can have adverse effects on their diet in the long run.
Common Acidic Drinks
Studies have indicated diet soda is not any more tooth-friendly than regular soda. Although it is sugar-free, it’s still overwhelming to your enamel if you drink it regularly. Even surprisingly small quantities of soda can damage your teeth; as little as one glass per day has been linked to damage. Fruit juices contain healthy vitamins and minerals, you may assume they’re healthy for your teeth as well. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
Orange juice and similar citrus-sourced liquids are packed with Vitamin C, but they’re packed with tooth-damaging acids as a result.
The Oral Health Foundation is a great source of further information, you may find this web site interesting.
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Due to the level of acidity ,sports drinks are increasingly responsible for irreversible damage to teeth, especially amongst adolescents and younger adults, their predominant target market.
The report is published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, confirms the findings:
“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 … Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
The acidity levels are responsible for eroding tooth enamel, the hard, shiny, white outer surface of the teeth. Once this is compromised, the inner softer dentine can start to decay quite easily, with the tooth cavity making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Researchers looked at acidity levels in 13 different sports drinks and found levels varied greatly between both brands and different flavors of the same brand.
Energy drinks cause double the damage of more balanced sports drinks. Some fifty percent of US teenagers are reported to consume energy drinks and as many as sixty two percent consume at least one sports drink per day. Parents and young adults should be made aware of the downside to the heavily marketed products, says the report.
It is suggested that people minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks and also consider chewing sugar free gum to promote saliva production, as well as washing the mouth with water, to assist the body in returning the mouth to its natural pH. a little quicker. Always wait at least an hour before brushing teeth to avoid rubbing the acids directly onto the tooth surface.
Natural fruit juices and especially coconut water which has excellent re-hydrating properties, might make a better alternative to smart drinks, which are often loaded with sugar, caffeine and artificial ingredients, and can be costly, not only in purchase price, but also in dentistry bills.
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With acknowledgements to Rupert Shepherd and Medical News Today