A majority of individuals know that sugary soft drinks, which include sports drinks, should only be consumed sparingly. The United States Department of Agriculture offers some dietary guidelines to this effect. Still, there are many Americans who consume a given type of soft drink on any day.
Dentists get to evaluate patients who consume sugary foods and beverages quite frequently, who present with problems such as dental cavities and tooth decay. The damage which soft drinks cause to teeth is proportional to how long a person takes them. Sipping on sports drinks, fruit juices and sugary beverages could lead to decay and cavities. Such a habit can also lead to erosion of tooth enamel over time, which left untreated could occasion loss of the affected teeth.
Things to Be Aware of When Consuming Soft Drinks
Enamel is the part which hardens the exterior of teeth, thereby protecting then pulp and dentin of your teeth from damage. It may wear down with time, just as any kind of surface. Saliva plays a key role in keeping the tooth enamel strong, due to the particles of calcium and phosphate which it carries. In addition, saliva washes away acidic plaque which forms on tooth enamel, eating away at it. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar, on which natural bacteria found in the mouth like to feed. They are broken down into acids which eat away at the enamel of teeth. Regular brushing and rinsing of teeth fights off majority of these acids located on teeth surfaces. However, sugar lingers within crevices which are hard to reach in-between teeth, eventually causing tooth problems. Acids such as phosphoric acid and citric acid, which occur in soft drinks, attack tooth enamel, eroding the tooth enamel over time. Diet sodas have an even higher concentration of acids compared to regular soda. Bacterial plaque forming on teeth can reach inner layers with ease, causing cavities once the enamel weakens. Soft drinks containing high sugary content affect teeth in two main ways. They first weaken the enamel, allowing for casual penetration of sugary stuff into the teeth. Again, diet sodas generally weaken the tooth enamel, causing other food-bacteria to damage the tooth with ease. Teeth look quite different once the enamel gets damaged. No longer do they look white, but might seem translucent or more yellow around the edges, as more dentin shows through the receding enamel. The chewing surface of the affected tooth may seem uneven, rounded or even dented. You might feel greater pain, discomfort or tingling when chewing or taking cold or hot.
Keeping regular dental appointments is among the most critical actions to take in ensuring your teeth remain healthy. Dr. Karen Kang is a dentist in Midtown Manhattan ready to address any concerns you might have relating to your oral health.