You may know that sodas are harmful for your teeth, due to the high levels of sugar in those drinks. But have you thought about another popular beverage promising a rush of energy, the energy drink? Here’s what happens when you consume energy drinks on a regular basis.
Why Energy Drinks Harm Your Teeth
Counter to the popular thinking that only soda is terrible for your teeth, energy drinks can be just as bad. While sugar gets a bad rap, acidic drinks can be just as harmful as sweet ones. That means everything from lemonade to sports drinks and energy drinks can harm the teeth.
Energy drinks contain twice as much acid as sports drinks, which means greater potential for harm. From a scientific perspective, the acid in those energy drinks actually lowers the pH of your saliva by 2. Until the pH naturally restores itself, which takes time, the teeth are bathed in acid. The acid is so strong that it dissolves the enamel. Tooth enamel is not something your body can create more of, so when it dissolves, it places your teeth at greater risk. There have been cases of people with an addiction to energy drinks developing rotting teeth as a result of their drink of choice.
The acid also encourages the growth of oral bacteria. If not removed through tooth brushing and flossing, the bacteria can lead to gum disease.
Energy drinks also get you amped–that’s why people drink them. That excess energy has to go somewhere. Many people end up grinding their teeth unconsciously because they’re wired from all the caffeine. Teeth grinding can lead to tooth breakage and even tooth loss. While a lost or damaged tooth can be repaired using cosmetic dentistry, it’s better to take care of your natural teeth in the first place by avoiding foods and drinks that can harm them.
You might think that pacing out your energy drink consumption could reduce the acid bath your teeth experience, but that isn’t likely to help. All it takes is a sip of energy drink to lower your saliva’s pH. Thirty minutes later the pH will restore itself. Sipping an energy drink gradually over a couple of hours maintains the acidic environment, potentially exposing your teeth to higher levels of acid than if you chugged the beverage.
It’s hard to quantify the effect of drinking these beverages, because the strength of tooth enamel and the likelihood of developing cavities are individualized. There is a genetic component, so if your relatives have lots of cavities, you face a greater risk by consuming energy drinks.
Everyone gets tired sometimes. It’s best to limit your consumption of energy drinks to occasionally to reduce the odds of breaking your teeth or harming tooth enamel. If you do regularly consume energy drinks, get your teeth cleaned by our dentist, who can check on your teeth, gum, and enamel health. Reserve your appointment on our website or call today: 813-501-6864.