Soda and fruit juice drinks are the most significant factors leading to serious dental erosion, according to a new survey published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Dental erosion is when enamel – the hard, protective coating of the tooth – is worn away by exposure to acid. The eroding of the enamel can result in pain – especially when eating hot or cold food – as it leaves the sensitive dentine area of the tooth exposed.
Acid’s Impact on Tooth Enamel
The enamel on the tooth becomes softer and loses mineral content when we eat or drink anything acidic. However, this acidity is cancelled out by saliva, which slowly restores the natural balance within the mouth. But if the mouth is not devoted enough time to repair itself – because these acid assaults are happening too often – the surface of the teeth is worn away.
Anything with a pH value( the measure of acidity) lower than 5.5 can injure teeth. Diet and regular sodas, carbonated drinks, flavored fizzy waters, athletic drinks, fruit and fruit juices are all known to be harmful to teeth if they are consumed too often.
“Substantial Proportion’ of Adults Have Dental Erosion
The study also finds that a substantial proportion of adults demonstrate some evidence of teeth erosion, with the most severe cases being among people who drink sugary soft drink and fruit juices.
Examining 3,773 participants, the researchers determined 79% had evidence of eroding tooth enamel, 64% had mild tooth wear, 10% had moderate tooth wear and 5% displayed signs of severe tooth wear. The participants in the study with moderate and severe tooth erosion admitted that they drank more soft drinks and fruit juices each day than the other groups .
Among participants with lower levels of tooth wear, the researchers found that milk was a more popular drink than soda or fruit juice.
Men were also found to be at twice health risks for dental erosion as females, and tooth wear became more severe with age among the participants.
Water is the Best Choice
Commenting on such studies, Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says that while fruit juice may be a nutritious drink, the high concentrations of sugar and acid can lead to severe dental injury if these beverages are consumed several times a day.
“Water and milk are the best choices by far, not only for the good of our oral health but our overall health too,” says Dr. Carter.
Many sodas and fruit juices contain at the least six teaspoons of sugar. Since they often come in portions that are larger than recommended, they can lead to tooth decay as well as dental erosion.
With regular check-ups you can prevent dental erosion.The more severe cases of tooth wear can often result in invasive and costly treatment so it is important that you keep to a good oral hygiene routine.