If you have a busy lifestyle, you probably rely on a potent blend of caffeine and sugar to get through the day. While energy and sports drinks can help you stay alert and active as you tackle your toughest tasks, these tasty beverages may carry long-term risks. New research suggests that increased consumption of these drinks can cause irreparable damage to teeth.
Published in General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, the study found that the high acidity levels in energy and sports drinks can erode tooth enamel, the outer part of teeth that helps keep them glossy. While people of all ages consume these sugary beverages, young adults can be especially susceptible, according to Science Daily.
“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,” lead author Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. Over the course of five days, samples of human tooth enamel were immersed in each drink for 15 minutes then left to soak in artificial saliva for an additional two hours. They concluded that the enamel sustained damage, and energy drinks were found to cause twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.
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