The Negative Effects of Soft Drinks and Sugar on Teeth

With summer just around the corner, the temptation to indulge in sugar-saturated soft drinks is about to become harder to resist. However, did you know that due to the sugar content of these beverages, they can actually leave you dehydrated? The over-consumption of soft drinks can lead to myriad health problems, including lethargy and obesity, and can even increase the likelihood of heart disease.

Your mouth, however, suffers the consequences of sugary beverages immediately. Even with frequent brushing, the damage that soda and other soft drinks does to your teeth is difficult to mitigate. Not only does sugar invite unwanted bacteria to your mouth, but repeated exposure to these drinks steadily wears your tooth enamel away. While regular cleanings and a steady brushing regimen can keep these effects in check, an even more effective method of keeping your teeth healthy is lowering your intake of soda or eliminating it altogether.

Here are a few ways sugary beverages negatively affect your teeth. For more information, contact your local provider for dental in Fairbanks, AK.

Acid Erodes Teeth

Soft drinks, including diet soda, contain both phosphoric and citric acid, which gradually wear away your tooth enamel, leading to decay. These drinks cause teeth to soften, which results in cavities and other dental problems. Regular exposure to beverages like soda and artificially flavored juices can cause the inner layers of your tooth to become exposed. This manifests in tooth pain and sensitivity upon touch. If this pain persists or becomes worse, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If your enamel has sustained damage, it will not heal on its own.

Unfortunately, even if you only drink diet soda, these same acids will still cause damage to your teeth. Substitute diet soft drinks with a healthy, non-acidic beverage to avoid tooth decay.

Bacteria Feeds on Sugar

Nothing brings bacteria to your mouth quite like a beverage that's packed with 40 grams of sugar. When you take a sip of soda, the plaque in your mouth reacts with the newly available sugar to create acidic byproducts. These byproducts go right for the enamel of your tooth, weakening it. As you probably guessed, this reaction greatly increases the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay.

There are a few ways you can protect yourself from the havoc that sugary drinks wreak on your teeth. If you can't do without, consider treating these drinks as a special treat rather than a staple of your diet. Not only will your teeth thank you, but your energy level, gut, and heart will also be grateful for the break. In the meantime, satiate your sugar cravings with something that's less acidic. If you can eliminate soft drinks altogether or replace them with a less sugary beverage, this is obviously the ideal way to care for your teeth. 

If you're having trouble with this, consult your Fairbanks dentist about the best way to reduce you sugar intake. Believe it or not, you can enjoy the warm weather without putting your teeth in jeopardy.