Frequent and heavy consumption of diet soda can cause tooth decay just like methamphetamine or crack cocaine do, according to a study published at the General Dentistry journal. It’s because soda (sweetened or not), crack cocaine and methamphetamine contain phosphoric acid and citric acid which make them acidic.
Without proper dental hygiene, regular exposure of the teeth to the highly acidic soda drinks can cause significant damage to the teeth.
The study cited the case of a woman who has been drinking diet soda daily for five years and who suffers from tooth decay similar to that of a man who has been a methamphetamine addict for three years and another man who has a long history of crack cocaine addiction.
The woman’s teeth became soft, discolored or damaged. All of her teeth had to be extracted and replaced with dentures.
A statement by a group representing soft drink manufacturers said that “to single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion — and to compare it to that from illicit drug use — is irresponsible” because the woman in the study did not undergo any dental health service for more than 20 years.
However, the spokesman of the Academy of General Dentistry said he was not surprised by the study’s findings because excessive soda consumption can result to stained, soft and leathery teeth. He added that the negative effects can be prevented by reducing how often and how much one drinks soda as well as how long it stays in the mouth.
If one can’t give up drinking soda, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene and to clean the mouth after drinking soda to wash away the acidity.