Most of us are watching our weight and our health. We think we are doing our bodies a favor by choosing diet soda over regular soda. From a calorie perspective that may be true; however, your teeth are at risk regardless of the soda choice you make. This Newnan dental office would like to warn of the harm that soda can bring to your oral health.
A trend noted by Kim McFarland, DDS and associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry, demonstrates a troubling increase in the number of dental patients who have eroded tooth enamel. The enamel is the protective layer of the tooth, and once this erosion develops it can’t be reversed.
Enamel erosion means the tooth’s nerve is more exposed to hot and cold. As a result, more people are suffering from teeth sensitivity to hot and cold drinks as well as cold air.
Based on studies from the National Soft Drink Association, the average American consumes 44 gallons of soda each year. The acids in soda – both phosphoric and citric acid, alter the pH level in the mouth and lead to the enamel erosion.
Tooth sensitivity is not as easy to fix as filling a cavity in a decayed tooth. There is little the dentist can do for extreme sensitivity short of adding crowns to all of your teeth.
If you consume soda regularly, it may be time to cut back on this habit. If you can’t quite give up on soda, here are some tips you can implement that might help reduce the damage of acidic erosion of your tooth enamel:
- Limit consumption of soda to meal time – don’t drink soda throughout the day
- After drinking a soda brush your teeth — toothpaste re-mineralizes or strengthens areas where acid weakened the teeth
- If you can’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with water
- Chew sugar free gum or gum containing Xylitol.