Energy drinks are taking a terrible toll on teeth, scientists have warned.
A study published in the Academy of General Dentistry charted an alarming increase in the consumption of both energy and sports drinks. But they said the habit is causing irreversible damage to teeth as the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth
In some cases it can take as little as five days for the eroding effect to begin.
'People consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are 'better' for them than soda,' said lead author Dr Poonam Jain, from Southern Illinois University.
'Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.'
Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand.
To test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks.
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