Whether you are tired after a long day at work or plan to hit the gym, an energy drink is what you might grab on the go. The energy spikes that this combination of sugar and caffeine offers can have negative effects on your health.
Excessive levels of sugar and caffeine in an acidic environment (the base of the drink) can cause severe damage to the teeth. Studies performed by dentists at Southern Illinois University have proven that, compared to soda, energy and sports drinks are more harmful to the teeth.
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Most energy drinks like Red Bull, Rockstar, or Monster Assault have an acidic pH and an overload of sugar and caffeine. Sugar and caffeine provide increased energy levels. Within minutes of consumption, you most likely feel an unusual surge of energy.
This acidic pH can erode the outer layer of the tooth, namely the enamel. The enamel is very resistant but a constant acidic environment can cause it to wear down. Studies conducted by putting extracted teeth in energy drinks for 15 minutes followed by shifting them to artificial saliva demonstrated that tooth enamel loss is obvious, even though the exact percentage is yet to be established.
Tooth enamel cannot be replaced. Once lost, the deeper layers of the teeth are exposed causing sensitivity and pain. The sugar also causes bacteria accumulations, which also break down the tooth’s layers.
Energy drinks are also known to cause gum disease because they can irritate the gums.
To reduce the harmful effects of energy drinks, rinse your mouth after consuming them. This can reduce the acidic environment, which is the main culprit for tooth decay. Avoid brushing immediately though, as brushing can do more harm than good. Dentists advise brushing about an hour after drinking an energy or sports drink.
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