Dr. Paul Perella, DMD

DIET SODA, METH, OR CRACK: YOUR TEETH CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE

A recent study published in the March/April 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, has discovered that drinking large quantities of your favorite carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use.

The case study compared the damage in three individuals' mouths--an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participants mouth.

"Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their 'drug' of choice--meth, crack or soda," says Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, lead author of the study.

"The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have high potential for causing tooth erosion," says Dr. Bassiouny.

Similar to citric acid, the ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials, such as battery acid, lantern fuel , and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is highly acidic in nature, as well.

The individual who abused soda consumed 2 liters of diet soda a daily for three to five 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.

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