Do you often drink sodas and fruit juice? Many people do but are unaware of the harm they could be doing to their teeth. A recent study showed that a considerable percentage of adults showed some evidence of acid erosion, and those with more significant damage were more likely to have consumed fruit juices and sugary sodas.
What Is the Problem with Drinking Fruit Juice and Soda?
Many fruit juices and sodas contain at least 6 teaspoons of sugar and more often than not are served in large portion sizes, increasing the risk of acid erosion and tooth decay. Some people feel that drinking fruit juice is a good way to consume more fruit, but the idea that these juices are healthy can be misplaced due to the high concentration of acid and sugar. When regularly consumed, they can do significant damage to teeth.
Another issue with drinking these types of beverages is that people frequently sip on them throughout the day, increasing the risk of damage as a teeth are constantly being exposed to the sugar and acid contained in them. If you think that no added sugar on the label means a product is sugar-free then think again as it merely means exactly what it says and that no additional sugar has been added to the beverage. However these drinks can contain sugars or they may be listed as carbohydrates.
So What Are the Best Drinks to Have?
If you want to keep your teeth strong and healthy it’s best to stick to water and milk. The same study found that participants who chose these beverages showed reduced levels of acid erosion compared to participants who opted for fruit juice or soda.
What Is Acid Erosion?
Acid erosion or dental erosion is where tooth enamel is damaged due to being attacked by the acid or sugars in foods and drinks. Tooth enamel is extremely hard and protects the softer layers of the tooth that lie underneath. However when exposed to acid, valuable minerals are leached out from the enamel surface which has the effect of weakening it and gradually wearing it away. Over time the enamel layer can gradually become thinner, eventually exposing the much softer layer of dentin underneath. When this occurs you’ll probably notice your teeth are much more sensitive towards hot and cold and the risk of tooth decay significantly increases.
How Is Acid Erosion Treated?
Our dentists at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center can regularly examine your teeth for signs of acid erosion. Sometimes it’s possible to reverse the early signs with fluoride treatments that help to harden tooth enamel. However if the damage is more significant and has caused decay then we will need to remove these damaged areas and replace them with fillings. This is one of the reasons we do recommend regular checkups as otherwise decay can soon progress, reaching the central part of the tooth and causing significant infection and pain that will require root canal therapy.
Our dentists can also give you advice on your diet as quite often even making small changes can significantly improve your dental health. Why not ask us at your next visit?
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