Methamphetamine and crack cocaine are known for their damaging effects to the mouths of drug users. But what about diet soda?
According to a study published recently in the journal General Dentistry, the heavy consumption of diet soda can damage the teeth as badly as methamphetamine or crack cocaine. Without good dental hygiene, continued exposure to the corrosive effects of the of citric acid and phosphoric acid in diet soda can cause significant oral damage.
“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” said Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia.
In his study, Dr. Bassiouny studied a woman who drank 2 liters of diet soda every day for two to five years. He found that the woman experienced tooth decay similar to that of a “29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old habitual crack cocaine user.” The woman’s teeth were soft and discolored, with several teeth completely destroyed by erosion.
“From my experience, the damage that happens to people’s mouths from cocaine or methamphetamine are degrees greater than what I see from soda, but I see a lot of damage from soda,” said Dr. Eugene Antenucci, a spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry.
Preventing Tooth Decay
The best way to fight tooth decay is to prevent it. You should pay particular attention to three things:
- How often you drink soda,
- How much soda you drink, and
- How long the soda is in your mouth
“You can help prevent [tooth decay] from happening by reducing any of those,” said Bassiouny.
“You’d be better off if you didn’t drink the soda,” said Antenucci, “but in my mind there’s not a reason for that extreme.”
If you have any questions about our blog,“ Diet Coke is Bad for Teeth, According to New Study” or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Leikin & Baylin Dental Care by calling 410-747-1115 or visit CatonsvilleDentalCare.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. And don’t forget, we will be donating $1 to the Catonsville Celebrations Committee for every new “Like” our Facebook page receives until June 15th. So spread the word!