While sports and energy drinks help athletes re-hydrate after a long workout, if consumed on a regular basis they can damage teeth. These beverages may cause irreversible damage to dental enamel, potentially resulting in severe tooth decay according to a study reported in the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry s clinical, peer-reviewed journal. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth structure and shape, while protecting it from decay.
“This study revealed that the enamel damage caused by non-cola and sports beverages was three to 11 times greater than cola-based drinks, with energy drinks and bottled lemonades causing the most harm to dental enamel,” said J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, FRSC, FADM, lead author, Professor of Biomaterials Science at the University of Maryland Dental School. “A previous study in the July/August issue of General Dentistry demonstrated that non-cola and canned iced teas can more aggressively harm dental enamel than cola.”
The study continuously exposed enamel from cavity-free molars and premolars to a variety of popular sports beverages, including energy drinks, fitness water and sports drinks, as well as non-cola beverages such as lemonade and ice tea for a period of 14 days (336 hours). The exposure time was comparable to approximately 13 years of normal beverage consumption.
Jennifer Starkey | EurekAlert!
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