A recently conducted study claims that energy and sports drinks cause enamel loss, even though they are presumed as healthy drinks. These drinks were found to erode or thin out the enamel of teeth because of which they become more susceptible to decay.
Poonam Jain, director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine examined 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks for acidity levels along with her associates. After testing, negative effects on tooth enamel were observed.
Levels of acidity in teen-popular drinks varied between brands and flavours. Gatorade Blue was the most acidic sports drink, followed by Hydr8. Among energy drinks with the highest acidity were Red Bull Sugarfree, Monster Assault, 5-hour Energy, Von Dutch, Rockstar and MDX.
In order to test acidity level, enamel samples were immersed in individual drinks for 15 minutes. Moreover, researchers put enamel to artificial saliva for two hours. This procedure was repeated for four times a day for five days, simulating real life. After 5 days, enamel damage was observed. More loss was observed due to the action of energy drinks than sports drinks.
Leading the research panel, Poonam Jain indicated that even one drink each day is harmful for oral health. Therefore, she advised to minimise the use of drinks and recommend rinsing it with water. She cautioned that brushing teeth immediately after having energy drink might spread around the acid. Therefore, brushing after 30 minutes is recommended when pH returns to normal.
The American Beverage Association disproved research results. Their spokesmen stated that the study was not conducted on humans and do not reflect reality. According to them, dental problems and diseases occur due to personal hygiene, lifestyle, total diet and genetic makeup.
Similarly, beverage industry also turned down claims of the study, stating that it is irresponsible to blame foods and beverages for enamel loss and tooth decay.