Most people have heard that soda is not good for your body, as it contains refined sugar, preservatives and many other chemicals. Excessive drinking of soda can also very harmful to your teeth. Drinking soda every day will cause problems that require the attention of your Orange Park dentist, Dr. Sherman of Park Avenue Dental. In order to make you aware of just how harmful soda is for your teeth, we’ve put together this list of reasons why.
Acid and Bacteria
You first need to understand why soda and teeth are a bad combination. Soda contains sugar and is acidic. The sugar in soda will cling to your teeth. The natural bacteria in your mouth will then eat and digest the sugars directly on the enamel. The bacteria will eventually produce large amounts of lactic acid at the end of this process. Lactic acid is dangerous because it can break down the calcium in your teeth. An added problem with regular and even diet or sugar-free sodas is that they have high acidity. Phosphoric acid and citric acid are common in all types of soda. These acids can directly dissolve calcium over time.
Erosion of Your Tooth Enamel
Your teeth actually have several layers. The outermost layer is enamel. This is the primary defense your teeth have against problems like decay or cavities. Enamel protects the dentin layer underneath and the pulp in the center. Drinking soda will cause your tooth enamel to change. It will start to erode leaving your teeth vulnerable to a number of issues that could cause permanent damage. Your tooth enamel can also become soft leading to the same problems.
Plaque and Staining
Staining is one of the first things you will notice when soda starts to damage your teeth. This occurs over time as layers of sugar and bacteria start to build up on your tooth enamel. These layers are known as bacterial plaque. You will likely notice just some slight yellowing around the edges of your teeth in the beginning. This staining will become worse as the plaque builds up and the staining starts to reach into the dentin. If caught early enough, Dr. Sherman, your Orange Park dentist can often remove the plaque and reverse the staining. If left untreated, your teeth could start to turn dark brown.
Your tooth enamel usually stops a large number of substances from getting past the surface of your teeth. This includes the foods you eat and the beverages your drink. Soda starts to open your teeth up to new threats. You could start to develop hypersensitivity as your tooth enamel slowly erodes away and weakens. Hypersensitivity means you will feel discomfort or pain when you eat hot or cold foods. You might get a dull ache even if the food is just slightly hot or cold. Hypersensitivity is dangerous because it can stop you from eating a healthy diet.
Cavities and Tooth Decay
One of the most serious points to understand about drinking soda and teeth is that cavities can develop. The bacteria eating away at the enamel of your teeth will start to move inside. The bacteria will begin to settle in the dentin under the enamel. Colonies of bacteria can grow. This will lead to cavities as the bacteria start to dissolve significant portions of your teeth. If you do not see your Orange Park dentist about your cavities, then the bacteria will eventually cause tooth decay. This means your teeth start to shrink, change shape and come apart as the structure is destroyed.
Soda does have the potential to cause tooth loss in some situations. This occurs when a number of issues combine to affect your teeth. You could lose your teeth because of the soft enamel and decay occurring with your teeth. This can lead to gum disease that attacks your teeth below the gum line. These problems become much worse if you do not brush and floss regularly. All of these factors can come together to cause one or more of your teeth to fall out if you are drinking large amounts of soda without caring for your dental health. Your Orange Park dentist can give you advice about preventing this and can treat gum disease.
Diet Sodas Are Not Safer
There has long been a myth that diet soda will not cause tooth decay or cavities. These claims are made because artificial sweeteners are used instead of refined sugar in the diet beverages. Everything shows that this does not make much of a difference. The reality is that diet soda and teeth do not go together at all. Diet soda can be just as damaging as standard sodas. This is mainly because diet sodas contain the same acids present in conventional sodas with sugar. They will still wear down your enamel and allow bacteria to attack your teeth. You need to avoid diet sodas just like regular sodas.
Minimizing the Damage from Soda
Ideally, one would want to avoid soda altogether in order to keep teeth healthy. If you are going to drink soda occasionally, then you can do few things to minimize the damage to your teeth. Drink the soda quickly and not over the course of several hours. This is because the cycle of harmful acid production lasts for just 20 minutes after your last sip. Rinse with water after drinking soda or brush your teeth. Try to use a straw with soda. A straw will minimize how much sugar comes into contact with your teeth.
Healthier Soda Alternatives
Many healthier alternatives to soda exist that will not do the same harm to your teeth. Drink water whenever possible. Milk is a good substitute because it contains calcium and vitamin D to help your teeth. You can choose to drink pure fruit juices. These must be 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugars. You can even mix the fruit juice with seltzer for a soda-like taste. Unsweetened iced tea is a good alternative although it could stain your teeth if you drink too much. Flavored water is another option. This is water with some lemon or another piece of fruit dropped in.