Mikaela Conley reports for ABC News:
Sugar may rot your teeth, but the acid in energy and sports drinks will also do some irreversible damage to those (not so) pearly whites, say researchers.
A new study published in the journal General Dentistry found that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use. Thirty to 50 percent of American teens use energy drinks, the paper says, and up to 62 percent drink sports drinks at least once a day.
Damage to enamel can cause teeth to become sensitive to touch and temperature changes, and be more susceptible to cavities and decay.
“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,” said Poonam Jain, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
Jain and colleagues analyzed the titratable acidity, pH and fluoride of 13 different sports drinks and nine energy drinks (including Gatorade and Red Bull) by submerging samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes. They then immersed the samples in artificial saliva for two hours. This was repeated four times a day for five days. The scientists observed damage to the enamel by the time the five days were up.
Energy drinks were the worst culprits, the researchers said. They said acidity levels vary among brands and flavors of energy drinks, and caused twice as much damage as the sports drinks…
[continues at ABC News]