Dental Problems

Sports Drink Can Cause Tooth Erosion

Sport drinks are used by athletes to regain their energy. These drinks contain essential carbohydrates, nutrients and electrolytes. But according to a research study conducted by the New York Researchers, drinking sport drinks can cause tooth erosion. 1 in 15 Americans suffers from this dental problem. The results of the research were announced in the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research held in Miami. This article tries to gain further insight.

Sports Drinks and Dental Erosion:

What the Research Involved:

  • Excess intake of sport drinks can lead to a condition called Erosive tooth wear.
  • Our tooth is made up of hard bone like structures. It is coated with a protective layer called enamel.
  • Acids damage the enamel and weaken the strength of the material with which the tooth is made.
  • According to Dr. Mark Wolff, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at New York University College of Dentistry, sport drinks contain Citric acid.
  • It is this acid which causes the damage to the tooth.
  • The study was conducted on cow’s teeth because they are similar to human’s teeth.
  • Five teeth were made in two halves and immersed in water and sport drinks accordingly for 90 minutes.
  • At the end of the study, it was found that teeth immersed in sport drink underwent more erosion and softening.

What is Tooth Erosion:

There are acids present in our mouth. These acids affect the white hard surface of the teeth called enamel. They dissolve these surfaces. This is called tooth erosion. But there are useful minerals in the liquid called saliva in our mouth. It helps in protecting teeth from acids. If presence of acids in mouth remains for a longer period, saliva cannot efficiently protect the teeth.

Knowledge Gained from Research about Tooth Erosion:

  • According to Dr. Wolff, sport drinks are to be consumed in moderation.
  • It should be followed by brushing of teeth after half an hour.
  • It is because by this time the enamel soften by the acids of the drink re-harden back.
  • Then the components present in tooth paste can protect the tooth from erosion effectively by brushing.
  • Sportsmen requires excess intake of sport drinks.
  • For them, an acid-neutralizing re-mineralizing toothpaste will be helpful.

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