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If you know anything about illegal drugs like meth or cocaine you may realize how they destroy teeth. But a common item you probably consumed today can be just as corrosive and erosive for your tooth enamel.
Research at Temple University shows that soft drinks cause tooth erosion similar to what occurs when you take illegal drugs.
Tooth erosion takes place when the acid in soft drinks wears away tooth enamel, the outer, protective outside tooth layers. Without protective enamel, teeth are more vulnerable to cavities. They can also crack and become more becoming sensitive and discolored.
The study analyzed the damage in three people’s mouths. One person, was a meth addict, another frequently used cocaine and the third drank large amounts of diet soda. None of these people practiced good dental hygiene or made regular visits to dentists. The analysis revealed severe damage from tooth erosion in all three of the study subjects.
“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their ‘drug’ of choice — meth, crack, or soda,” says researcher Mohamed A. Bassiouny. “The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion.”
The person who drank diet soda had been downing 2 liters of diet soda daily for more than three years.
“The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda — even diet soda — is not harmful to their oral health,” says Bassiouny.