Does Soda Pop Cause Cavities?
Mountain Dew-20 oz is the
worst pop, it contains 19 tsps of sugar and 93 milligrams of
caffeine.......nearly equivalent to adult dose of NoDoz.****
is sweetened, acidic,
often caffeinated carbonated drink. There is "regular" pop that
is sweetened with different kinds of sweeteners and "diet" pop that is
sweetened with artificial sweeteners. 45 gallons of pop is consumed
per person/per year by the average American. Even adults are
just as prone to decay even though they have fairly good
enamel and well-calcified enamel.
trouble for teeth. It's not just sugar that's bad for
teeth, but the acids included in many popular
drinks are said to "eat" away enamel and make
teeth more prone to . The pH of regular and
diet pops ranges from 2.47-3.35. The PH in our mouth is normally about 6.2
to 7.0 slightly more acidic than water. At a PH of 5.2 to 5.5
or below the acid begins to dissolve the hard enamel of our
teeth. Phosphoric and citric acids contribute to
the acidity of pop. Below is a look at how some soda pops compare to water
as well as to battery acid.
American today drinks over 600 servings of pop a year.***
per 12 oz
|Diet Dr. Pepper
|Hawaiian Fruit Punch
|Orange Minute Maid
Dental Association *
pH for enamel dissolution is 5.5.
Regular pop is potentially
cavity causing due to its high sugar content. Diet pops do not contribute
to cavities. However, the acid in regular and diet pop has the potential
to contribute to enamel breakdown and when combined with sugar can contribute to
Regular pops provide
between 150-180 calories per 12oz can. Current dietary recommendations for
added simple sugar are 10% of total energy.
One can of regular
pop per day contains the maximum recommended intake of sugar a day!
Excessive intake of
regular pop can contribute to excessive calories leading to obesity and/or
decrease intake of foods that have a high nutrient value leading to deficiencies.
The actual effects of pop on
oral health are a direct result of: Quantity-rapid
drinking of any quantity of regular pop, particularly with meals is unlikely to
affect your risk toward cavities.
All Day Get Decay interactive website for teens about pop
and decay, click on the Sip All Day icon on the upper right
side of the page.
Drinks in Schools
"Root beer appears to be the "safest" for health of dental
Recommendations to reduce
the affects of sugar and acid on your teeth:
Pop should be consumed at meals to limit your teeth's
exposure to sugar and acid.
Limit regular pop to 1 can per day
Neither regular nor diet pop should replace
nutrient dense foods or beverages.
Excessive intake of pop is detrimental to
Drink pop through
straws to reduce the direct contact to the teeth.
Rinse your mouth
with water after consuming pop. It is important
to do this prior to brushing your teeth after you
just drank a pop. Rinsing first will help to
neutralize the acids. Brushing in a high acid environment
will erode tooth enamel.
Select pop cans over
re-sealable bottles. This limits the consumption of
the pop to one sitting rather than sipping bottles and
re-sealing them over a longer period of time.
Include bottled water and
fruit juices in vending machines.
The use and the abuse of
acidic drinks may damage dentin and increase the risk for
[J Periodontol 2003;74:428-436.]
By Teresa Marshall, Marsha Cunningham from Iowa
Dental Journal, July 2000 as published in NDA 01/01.
Kids and Obesity
(Click on this topic above
to learn more)
Diet Soda Drinkers
Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly can contribute to
the erosion of tooth enamel surfaces.
Soft drinks, which contain sticky sugars that break down into
acids, adhere easily to tooth surfaces.
These acids can soften
tooth substance and promote formation of plaque, which erodes
Enamel breakdown leads to cavities.
spreads beneath the enamel into the dentin, pain and sensitivity
Which may result in root canal surgery.
Because saliva helps neutralize acids and wash your teeth
clean, the worst time to drink soda pop, ironically, is when you
are very thirsty or dehydrated due to low levels of saliva.
The larger the volume of intake, the more impact
has on your teeth
sodas are part of the problem. Women especially like to drink
them throughout the day and between meals because they have no
calories, yet the higher frequency and volume is putting their
teeth at risk."
Drink soda pop only with a full meal.
Be sure to
brush and floss soon after drinking and/or eating.
to quench your thirst with water.
If you drink pop alone or
between meals, chew sugarless gum afterward to increase your
Beverages Can Erode Exposed Root Surfaces, New Study Claims
Soda, apple juice and other acidic drinks can erode exposed root
surfaces, according to research presented at the 2006
AmericanAssociation of Dental Research meeting in Orlando.
The new laboratory study, conducted by researchers from
theUniversity of Iowa, evaluated the erosive potential of five
acidic beverages on enamel and root surfaces of extracted tooth
samples.For this evaluation, the extracted teeth were coated
with fingernailpolish, and small "windows" (1 x 4 millimeters)
of enamel or rootsurface were left exposed for microscopic
analysis. The preparedtooth samples were submerged for 25 hours
in one of five popular
beverages—Gatorade®, Red Bull®, Coke®, Diet Coke® or apple
juice—and then sectioned into thin slices to measure the
Although the study did not replicate real-life exposure to
softdrinks (due to the length of time of exposure), it did
reporterosion to the root surfaces of the extracted tooth
samples.Previous studies have found that acidic beverages can
soften dentalhard tissues (enamel), and similar dental erosion
(based on leveland extent of acidic exposure) would be expected
for the thinner,more soluble root surfaces.
Dental erosion may be caused by intrinsic and extrinsic
factors(e.g., environment, diet, medications), and the erosive
process isnot solely dependent on soft-drink consumption. While
there is a growing body of evidence linking acidic food and
drinks to dental erosion, biological modifying factors, such
as low salivary flow, bulimia, acid reflux disease and other
gastrointestinal conditions, can also affect tooth erosion.
Saliva plays a protective role by diluting and neutralizing
potentially erosive agents, especially the phosphoric and citric
acids that contribute to the acidity of soda. In this way,
saliva may serve as a natural defense to reduce exposure to the
acids that can demineralize enamel and root surfaces.
Dentists are encouraged to monitor patients for observable tooth
erosion and to educate parents, caregivers and children about
the potential risks of prolonged acidic exposure to the
dentition. Proper oral hygiene instruction should be offered to
all patients for the promotion of good oral health. At-risk
patients (e.g., individuals with bulimia, binge-eating disorders
and related conditions) may require referral to physicians or
professionals for assessment, treatment and counseling.
1 Mundell EJ. Popular drinks eat away at tooth enamel. HealthDay
News. March 9, 2006. Availabl at: "http://www.healthday.com/view.cfm?id=531449
." Accessed March 10, 2006.
2 DeNoon D. Gatorade tough on teeth? WebMD. March 9, 2006.
Available at: "http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/119/113482.htm?
Accessed March 15, 2006.
Sodas in Schools: A Sticky
First, the health problems
associated with soft drinks, sports beverages, and juice drinks
extend far beyond the elementary school years. Obesity isn’t the
only concern. Osteoporosis and tooth decay are also related to
nutrient-poor food and beverage choices, so preventive
strategies must extend throughout childhood and adolescence...to
read more see:
Sodas In School. 3/06
Influence of drinking patterns of carbonated beverages on dental
As a hard tissue dental disease, dental erosion
has a multifactorial etiology. The majority of dental erosion
that originates from extrinsic sources is the result of dietary
intake, particularly acidic beverages. Several preventive
means have been proposed to minimize the damage to the
dentition, including a reduction in the consumption of causative
beverages and the adoption of a specific method of drinking,
utilizing a straw instead of a cup.
General Dentistry Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD Jie Yang,
DMD, MMS, MS June 2005
Study Indicates That Popular Sports Beverages Cause More
Irreversible Damage to Teeth Than Soda
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.
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.
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
The study findings revealed that there was
significant enamel damage associated with all beverages tested.
Results, listed from greatest to least damage to dental
enamel, include the following: lemonade, energy drinks, sports
drinks, fitness water, ice tea and cola. Most cola-based drinks
may contain one or more acids, commonly phosphoric and citric
acids; however, sports beverages contain other additives and
organic acids that can advance dental erosion. These organic
acids are potentially very erosive to dental enamel because of
their ability to breakdown calcium, which is needed to
strengthen teeth and prevent gum disease.
We encourage you to try altering or limiting
the intake of soda and sports drinks and choosing water or low
fat milk instead, to preserve tooth enamel and ultimately
protect teeth from decay.
January/February 2005 issue of General
Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry 's J. Anthony
von Fraunhofer, FRSC, FADM, lead author, Professor of
Biomaterials Science at the University of Maryland Dental
A high percentage of people consume soft drinks
that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and
various additives. The popularity of sports (energy) drinks is
growing and this pilot study compares enamel dissolution in
these and a variety of other beverages. Enamel blocks
(approximately 7.0 x 5.0 x 2.5 mm) were
sectioned from sound extracted human premolars and molars,
measured, weighed, and immersed in the selected beverages for a
total of 14 days. The pH of all beverages was measured. The
enamel sections were weighed at regular intervals throughout the
immersion period with the solutions being changed daily; all
studies were performed induplicate. The data were subjected to
one-way ANOVA with post hoc Scheffe testing.
Enamel dissolution occurred in all the tested beverages, with
far greater attack occurring in flavored and energy (sports)
drinks than previously noted for water and cola drinks. No
correlation was found between enamel dissolution and beverage
pH. Non-cola drinks, commercial lemonades, and energy/sports
drinks showed the most aggressive dissolution effect on dental
enamel. Reduced residence times of beverages in the mouth by
salivary clearance or rinsing would appear to be beneficial.
Operative Dentistry -
JADA 2005 Jan/Feb Effects of sports drinks and other beverages
on dental enamel
J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, MSc, PhD Matthew M. Rogers, DDS
Beverages Cause More Irreversible Damage to Teeth Than Soda
New Study Indicates That Popular Sports Beverages Cause More
Irreversible Damage to Teeth Than Soda
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
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. 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
The study findings revealed that there was significant enamel
damage associated with all beverages tested. Results, listed
from greatest to least damage to dental enamel, include the
following: lemonade, energy drinks, sports drinks, fitness
water, ice tea and cola. Most cola-based drinks may contain one
or more acids, commonly phosphoric and citric acids; however,
sports beverages contain other additives and organic acids that
can advance dental erosion. These organic acids are potentially
very erosive to dental enamel because of their ability to
breakdown calcium, which is needed to strengthen teeth and
prevent gum disease. It is recommend altering or limiting
the intake of soda and sports drinks and choosing water or low
fat milk instead, to preserve tooth enamel and ultimately
protect teeth from decay.
of soft drinks and tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste
on the wear
A study of the combined effects of soft drinks
and tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste on the wear of
The aim of this study was to measure loss of dentine produced by
soft drinks alone and combined with tooth brushing with and
without toothpastes. Groups of flat human dentine specimens were
exposed for 10 min and then 30 min to orange juice (OJ),
carbonated cola (CC) or modified blackcurrant (MB) drinks alone
or after the exposures brushed with a fluoride toothpaste for 10
s. Further groups were exposed to OJ as before but brushed with
water or non-fluoride toothpaste or placed in slurries of
fluoride paste. OJ and CC produced similar erosion and
significantly more than MB. Compared with drinks alone,
dentine loss was reduced by fluoride toothpaste brushing but
increased by water and non-fluoride toothpaste brushing.
Fluoride toothpaste slurry had no significant effect on soft
drink erosion. It is concluded that fluoride toothpaste
could provide protection, albeit
small, against erosion. The data again support the concept
of brushing before meals.
[Ponduri S, Macdonald E Addy M A study in
vitro of the combined effects of soft drinks and tooth brushing
with fluoride toothpaste on
the wear of dentine International Journal of Dental
Hygiene 2005;3 (1):7.]
of modified acidic soft drinks on enamel erosion
From each of 144 bovine incisors one enamel
sample was prepared. Labial surfaces of the samples were ground
flat, polished and covered with adhesive tape, leaving an
exposed area. The samples were distributed among four
groups for treatment with A: Coca-Cola, B: Sprite; C: Sprite
light, D: orange juice. Either 1.0 mmol l1 calcium (Ca) or a
combination (comb.) of 0.5 mmol l1 calcium plus 0.5 mmol l1
phosphate plus 0.031 mmol l1 fluoride was added to
the beverages. Samples of each group were subdivided into three
subgroups (-original; -Ca and -comb.) for treatment with
original and modified drinks. Surface loss of the specimens was
determined using profilometry after test procedure.In all
subgroups, loss of enamel was observed. The enamel loss
recorded for the samples rinsed with original Sprite and
original orange juice was significantly higher compared with all
Modification of the test soft drinks with low
concentrations of calcium or a combination of calcium, phosphate
and fluoride may exert a significant protective potential with
respect to dental erosion.
Impact of modified acidic soft drinks on enamel erosion
T Attin, K Weiss, K Becker, W Buchalla, A Wiegand 2/05
soda better for teeth
11/10/04-Dark soda better for teeth (AGD News)
According to J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, MSc, PhD, of the
University of Maryland Baltimore Dental School, light colored
soda and canned ice teas are worse for the teeth than its
darker colored competitors. According to his study,
non-cola soft drinks caused two to five times
the damage to tooth enamel as darker drinks. Dr. von
Fraunhofer believes the cause is the citric acid content
in the beverages that can leave heavy drinkers at greater
risk for cavities and decay. The average person in the U.S.
drinks about 16 ounces of soft drinks daily, according to Dr.
von Fraunhofer. The study appeared in the
July/August issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed
journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.
Sugar and acidity can be lethal to teeth!
Sweetened drinks harm the protective enamel
around teeth. Over time, exposing dental enamel to
carbonated beverages weakens and permanently destroys enamel.
This new study found that non-colas and canned iced tea were
especially harmful. They contain flavor additives, such as
malic, tartaric and other organic acids which are more
aggressive at eroding teeth.
Root beer, contains the least amount of
flavor additives was found to the the "safest soft drink to
safeguard dental enamel".
In 1977 12-19 year olds consumed 16 oz of soda
1996 12-19 year olds consumed 28 oz a day
In 1970 22.2 gallons of cola per person per
year consumed by Americans.
In 1996 44 gallons of cola per person per year
consumed by Americans.
In 1999 56 gallons of cola per person per year
consumed by Americans.
Soda consumed at meal times is less
injurious than when consumed alone and continuous sipping is
more harmful than the whole drink taken at one time.
Drinking soda thorough a straw may help reduce the amount
of soda that comes into direct contact with your teeth.
Also rinse your mouth out with water after drinking and
use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Dentalnotes pg 1 Summer 2004
Soft drink and bones
----------------------------------- Carbonated soft drink intake
is linked with lower bone mineral density in adolescent girls, .
There was found a significant inverse relationship between
total carbonated soft drink intake and bone density for
girls only. This association was confined to non-cola and diet
drinks. Reference: J Bone Miner Res. 2003
The link between consumption of
soft drinks - particularly sweetened soft drinks - and dental
caries is well established 1.
Nutritionists have also raised
concerns that excess soft drink intake could displace milk and contribute
to calcium deficiency, and that the `empty calorie’ sugar
in soft drinks is a factor in the rapidly worsening problem
of overweight and obesity in our children 2.
Other potential problems
related to specific constituents of soft drinks include the calcium
leaching effect of phosphoric acid 3 and the impact of
excess caffeine in cola drinks (e.g. in possibly contributing to
raised blood pressure) 4 .
A recent paper has proposed that
high fructose corn syrup (used to sweeten most soft drinks) has
specific metabolic consequences that favored obesity 5, whilst
other evidence shows soft drinks can cause sharp insulin
One thing of which there is no
doubt is that soft drink intake amongst children is increasing.
Recent US estimates, for example, are that consumption
doubled over the last two decades and now adds 188 kcal/day
to the energy intake of children who drink them 7, 8.
Whatever the current status
of research on the precise health effects of soft drink
consumption, we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic amongst
children. It is hard to reasonably deny the need to take steps
in schools to make healthy, nutrient-dense foods more available
and `empty calories’, including both high fat snacks and
sugary soft drinks, less easily available 17.
Arbor Clinical Nutrition May 04. 1. Gen Dent.
2003 Jan-Feb;51(1):30-6. 2. Pediatrics. 2004 Jan;113(1 Pt
1):152-4. 3. Rev Invest Clin. 1998 May-Jun;50(3):185-9. 4. Arch
Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 May;158(5):473-7. 5. Am J Clin Nutr.
2004 Apr;79(4):537-43. 6. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1999
Aug;8(4):289-95. 7. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Oct;103(10):1326-31.
8. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;78(6):1068-73. 9. Arch Pediatr
Adolesc Med. 2000 Jun;154(6):610-3. 10. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004
Feb;23(1):18-33. 11. J Pediatr. 2003 Jun;142(6):604-10. 12. Br J
Nutr. 2003 Mar;89(3):419-29. 13. J Nutr. 2001 Feb;131(2):246-50.
14. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Dec;22(6):539-45. 15. Lancet. 2001 Feb
17;357(9255):505-8. 16. J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Apr;99(4):436-41.
17. JAMA. 2002 Nov 6;288(17):2181.
Help patients understand these alarming soda