Dental Dangers of Diet Soda

Dental Dangers of Diet Soda

in Overall Health by
Dental Dangers of Diet Soda
By: Joel KramerCC BY 2.0

Anyone who has ever seen a campaign against meth knows that meth can do a frightening amount of damage to meth user’s teeth. It’s also widely known that sugary soda is bad for one’s teeth. Well, a new study indicates that diet soda is as bad as regular soda, and possibly even meth and crack, when it comes to destroying tooth enamel.

Study Regarding Diet Soda’s Effect on Teeth

The recently released study is very small, and only focuses on a woman who drank an excessive amount diet soda. Her rate of tooth-decay was compared to two men who used meth and crack cocaine, respectively. While this study is by no means conclusive, it does serve as a warning that diet soda may not be as harmless as you think.

Mohamed Bassiouny is a restorative dentistry professor at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia. Bassiouny headed this small but shocking study published in General Dentistry. The study compared the incredible tooth-decay found in a woman who drank the extortionate amount of two liters of diet cola a day. This thirty something woman’s high tooth-decay rate was compared to that of a twenty-nine year old meth-addict, and a fifty-one year old crack-cocaine addict. The study suggested that the woman’s teeth, were as decayed as both the men included in the study.

“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” Bassiouny stated.

The reason diet soda can be damaging to teeth, despite its lack of sugar, is diet soda’s high acidity. Acidic beverages of all kinds are bad for your teeth. Diet soda, just like regular soda, contains phosphoric acid, citric acid. When drank, acids are particularly bad for your teeth, because of liquid’s ability to saturate, and get into tight spaces.

Though sugar isn’t present in diet soda, it seems according to Bassiouny, the damage done by meth, crack, and both sugar and diet soda, is very similar. Though some damage may be expected from drinking diet soda, it’s shocking to consider the amount of damage done by diet soda may be comparable to that done by meth or crack. When speaking of the difference between damage to teeth from soda and diet soda, Bassiouny doesn’t think there are any.

“Both of them have the same drastic effect if they are consumed in the same frequency, the same amount and the same duration,” he said.

So it seems, while some think they are avoiding tooth-decay by choosing the sugar-free soda option, that may not be the case. While it’s tempting to take short cuts when trying to maintain a healthy diet, it seems more and more, they’re proven to have more adverse health effects than benefits. The fact is, highly acidic beverages, even citrus juice and black coffee, can negatively impact your teeth negatively.

The woman’s teeth were so severely damaged, all of the teeth that had suffered erosion had to be removed and replaced with dentures. For a thirty-something woman to have such severely damaged teeth does seem unusual. Of course one, incredibly small, not-well controlled study is by no means definitive proof. It is interesting and somewhat alarming however. It also seems like a logical conclusion to draw.

Ditch Diet Soda for Optimum Dental Health

Critics of diet soda have long cited the presence of phosphoric and citric acid as problematic for your dental health. The fact that diet soda is as damaging as meth and crack, or even regular soda, is still up for debate. “It does seem logical, to curb any excessive consumption of diet cola to protect your teeth,” says Doctor Kirchmeier, a Cosmetic Dentist in Eugene OR.