May 2, 2012 4:31:41 pm
Teenagers,the next time you down an energy drink,do give a second thought,for an Indian-origin researcher-led study claims these beverages start to destroy teeth after only five days of continuous consumption.
In their study,Dr Poonam Jain at Southern Illinois University and colleagues charted an alarming increase in the consumption of both energy and sports drinks among young adults in the US.
They said the habit is causing irreversible damage to teeth as the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel,the glossy outer layer of the tooth,the ‘Daily Mail’ online reported.
“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. Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid,” said Dr Jain.
In fact,researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand.
To test the effect of the acidity levels,the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes,followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. This cycle was repeated four times a day for five days,and samples were kept in fresh artificial saliva other times.
“This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours,” Dr Jain said.
The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks,though energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks.
In fact,they found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks. Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible,and without the protection of enamel,teeth become overly sensitive,prone to cavities,and more likely to decay.
The findings have been published in the ‘Academy of General Dentistry’ journal.
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