Dental Health Info Article

Sports and Energy Drinks Known Tooth Killers:

When it comes to quenching thirst individuals can choose between a myriad of options including water, beer, wine, soda, milk and sports/energy drinks. However, people who grab the latter may end up causing irreversible damage to their teeth.

Since the term "soda water" was first coined in 1798, the soft drink industry has expanded to include a variety of options. Sports drinks (designed to replenish nutrients and boost performance for athletes) and energy drinks (laden with ingredients such as caffeine) are currently some of the most popular beverage options currently available. Combined, the two types of drinks account for an estimated $10 billion in sales annually and the more money spent on the drinks, the worse off the dental health of consumers.

Sports Drink Kill Teeth

Nutrition is important for dental health and concurrently there are certain treats linked to causing dental problems. Sports and energy drinks may indeed provide those in need with a short boost of something, but the high acid levels in the beverages have been found to be found to cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel (

Research published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry (the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry) has shown how the beverages are causing dental health issues. A total of 13 different sports drinks and nine different energy drinks were analyzed by researchers; tooth enamel samples were submerged in each drink variety for 15 minutes and then submerged in an artificial saliva for two hours. The process was repeated to mimic the process of a person consuming four of these specific types of drinks a day while other times the tooth samples were allowed to sit in the artificial saliva ( Researchers noted that damage mimicking tooth erosion occurred in as little as five days during the test. Energy drinks earned the dubious honor of causing twice as much damage of more balanced sports drinks.

History of Sports and Energy Drinks

There was a time when water was the premiere beverage of choice and that milk was known as an important dairy food known for promoting dental health. However, ever since having a Coke and a smile became part of the English vernacular, manufacturers have launched a war for consumer dollars in the form of the soft drink industry.

Sports drinks first became a competitor in the field in 1965. Researchers at the University of Florida designed the drink in direct response from the Gators football assistant coach Ray Graves. He wanted to help athletes replace fluids lost during practice in hot weather. Since the initial tests and subsequent success, the sports drink Gatorade was born and is distributed in over 80 countries courtesy of parent company, Pepsi Co.

Depending on the source, the first energy drink was either created at the turn of the century or sometime in the 1960s. While those origins are unclear one thing is sure, the very first options for a quick perk up were typically shots in simple bottles sans the flash and dash of today's marketing styles.

Energy drinks started to evolve as time went on and as they did, the started to resemble the today's versions. In the 1980s, Jolt Soda marketed itself as an energy drink with the motto of "All the sugar and twice the caffeine" of regular sodas. After that other products came and went, but once energy drink Red Bull (introduced to America by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz) a new soft drink sector was born and things have never been the same.

Soft Drinks=Declining Health

Since the earliest soft drink incarnations the industry has grown to dominate the American marketplace. According to information from the National Center for Health Statistics, half of every American over age 2 drink sugary drinks every day. That habit is negatively impacting the health of the nation and upping the occurrences of dental problems and health problems linked to obesity.

Many health experts note that soda is a contributor to health issues including tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. An evaluation of Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by a team at the University of Michigan "confirm that adults who drink three or more sodas a day have up to 62% more decayed, missing, and filled teeth than those who drink less," ( The acid levels in the beverages, trace elements of sugars and carbohydrates deposited on teeth after consumption and teeth grinding promoted by caffeine are contributors to the woes.

As a result, soft drink industries are trying to diversify their offerings by promoting sports and energy drinks instead, as the research shows the beverages are no better for teeth than their predecessors. As a result, everyone is advised to take the industry marketing messages with a grain of salt in order to better manage the dental health of themselves and their charges.

The connection between consuming sports drinks, energy drinks and declining health cannot be denied. At 1-800-DENTIST, we advise individuals to skip sipping processed beverages to save their teeth and well being and opt for choosing water instead. Are you looking for a dentist to verify these facts and provide you with professional dental care to provide restorative care to teeth eroded by soft drinks? Call 24/7 to find a dentist anytime.