Sugar-free drinks - more harm than good?
We are all told that fizzy drinks, citrus fruit juices and other sugary drinks can cause tooth decay, but another cause of cavities is the dental erosion that occurs when teeth are exposed to acid. In order to decrease the chance of decay, sugar-free drinks have been sold as a tooth friendly product. But oral experts warn that sugar-free beverages and confectionery can be just as damaging as those products containing sugar.
Researchers at the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), based at the University of Melbourne, Australia have tested 23 different types of sugar-free drinks and found those that contain acidic additives and those with low pH levels cause measurable damage to tooth enamel, even if they have no sugar.
When sugar forms plaque on the tooth surface, bacteria digests and converts to acid which dissolves tooth enamel. People are not aware that the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause damaging condition of dental erosion and both sugary and sugar-free beverages cause a measurable loss of tooth enamel.
Regular check-ups with dentists can help detect early dental erosion and can help protect you from needing a filling or a crown.