Busy lifestyles have led numerous Americans to burn the candles at both ends. To cope with drowsiness and fatigue, many have turned to energy drinks, which provide large amounts of sugar and caffeine. Unfortunately, new research suggests that these popular beverages may also compromise our dental health in troubling ways.

Teen playing video games while drinking energy drink

Highly Acidic

A study indicates that energy drinks contain enough acid to destroy teeth in just five days of continuous use. Appearing in the journal General Dentistry, the study tested 9 separate energy drinks to see how their acidic content would affect human teeth. In conducting their study, researchers submerged actual human tooth enamel into each energy drink for 15 minutes; they then soaked the samples in synthetic saliva for two hours. After repeating this once a day for five days, the researchers observed that the drinks caused irreversible damage to the enamel samples: a problem that could lead to sensitivity and decay in actual teeth.

A Serious Issue

It’s important to note that the researchers also tested 13 sports drinks in their study, including the popular Gatorade brand. Interestingly, these drinks also caused serious damage to tooth enamel. According to the study’s lead author, this is a troubling issue, since 50 percent of American teens consume energy drinks on a daily basis and 62 percent drink at least one sports drink every 24 hours.

Why Check-ups Are So Important

These days, our teeth are exposed to all sorts of sugary, acidic foods and beverages that wear down enamel and leave us vulnerable to serious tooth problems that can require expensive restorative dental work.

To prevent this, it’s important to catch minor problems before they become major ones. The American Dental Association recommends that healthy people maintain regular six-month dental check-ups to check for cavities, gum disease and other potential problems that might go unnoticed until it’s too late. To ensure that your dental health is in good shape, schedule an appointment or call (803) 781-9090 to discuss your options for better oral health with Columbia, SC dentist Dr. Adam Hahn.