An alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth.
"Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are 'better' for them than soda," says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study published in the journal General Dentistry. "Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid."
The researchers found damage to enamel after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks appeared to be more damaging than sports drinks.
An estimated 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consume energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. Damage to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.
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