One of America's biggest vices is soda, and it is consumed by many people on a daily basis. Sugary drinks such as soda and energy drinks are largely associated with a variety of health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. But how does soda affect oral health?
For starters, your teeth get attacked for about 20 minutes after each sip of soda because of a chemical reaction between carbonation and acids in the drink. So if you are sipping all day long, your teeth are constantly under attack! Keep reading to learn about how that happens.
Enamel is a thin, translucent layer that covers and protects the teeth. Enamel is an important part of a healthy mouth because it protects teeth from infections, cavities, gum disease, and decay. Enamel is incredibly tough and resistant to decay, but it's not invincible. When you drink sugary beverages like soda, they increase plaque growth. Around 20% to 40% of plaque is made up of bacteria that produce acids that erode tooth enamel (called dental caries). The downside? Weakened enamel. When your enamel gets weaker, it may become thinner or porous, causing your teeth to be more sensitive to hot and cold. With weakened enamel, you are at risk for dental problems such as cavities that could permanently damage your smile. If left untreated decay or cavities can get into the nerve of the tooth and lead to severe pain.
To learn more about tooth sensitivity, check out this “Tooth Sensitivity” blog.
With weakened enamel, you're at a much higher risk for developing cavities that could damage your smile permanently. A cavity is a hole in your teeth that is caused by decay. If left untreated, a cavity will grow larger and damage more of the tooth. When decay reaches the nerve, or gets close in proximity, it can cause irreversible damage to the nerve and lead to severe tooth pain.
Gum disease is an infection of gums and tissues around the teeth. It is often caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque react with sugar in soda to create acids that create inflammation in the gum tissue that can adversely affect supporting bone. The longer the plaque remains on the teeth, the more virulent the bacteria will become. Over time this can destroy the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. This is why it’s super important to have regular check-ups and cleanings.
Soda and other dark beverages can stain your teeth over time. The darker the drink, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. Cola drinks are some of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth. So if you want to keep your smile looking its best, it's best to avoid drinking dark sodas and other dark beverages.
What About Diet Sodas?
Researchers have noted that diet drinks containing phosphoric acid had the greatest effect on tooth erosion because it has the strongest reaction with calcium in saliva, eating away at your tooth support structure.
Dentist Near Me
The American Dental Association recommends limiting the daily consumption of sugary drinks like sodas. If you're trying to keep your teeth healthy, it's best to avoid drinking soda. But if you do indulge, make sure to brush your teeth afterward! You can also drink sparingly while using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
If you think your teeth are in need of a cleaning, restorative dentistry, or extra care, we can help! Our dentists are experienced in all aspects of oral health and can provide you with the best advice for keeping your teeth healthy. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with Apple Tree Dental!