Soda and meth can rot your teeth equally

A new case study published in General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, claims that drinking lots of soda can rot your teeth as badly as doing lots of meth.

And here’s the kicker: It’s not just regular soda, it’s diet soda, too.

So for all of you (ahem, Bill Clinton) who think you can down Diet Coke by the case without fear of repercussions, be warned: Author and dental professor Mohammed Bassiouny has observed the similarities over 20 years. In a new study, he makes a case study of three patients—one who used meth habitually for three years, one who was addicted to crack for 18 years, and a third, a woman, who drank two liters of diet soda every day for three to five years. Their teeth were all basically the same.

So just to reiterate, drinking a 2-liter of diet soda for three years can give you the same set of chompers as an 18-year crack addict.

While the study found for some reason that Appalachia is “ground zero” for soda addiction, the actual cases cited included people from cities with fluorided water, of a similar socio-economic background. The study didn’t deal specifically with tooth-brushing habits, but I’m guessing “similar socio-economic background” is shorthand for “these people all brush their teeth twice a day.”

While we usually think of sugary sodas as being the sure-fire teeth-rotters, apparently the big culprit is citric acid, which is equally as present in diet soda along with sugared soda.

Of course, the American Beverage Association is none to thrilled with the study—or convinced. They launched a counter-attack claiming Bassiouny’s study is nonsense. “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. The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion,” ABA said.

Of course, they could have just warned people not to drink two liters of the stuff a day.

Read here for i09’s story “debunking” the notion that soda of any kind rots your teeth. After checking out this recent study, I’m not so convinced.

Source: NPR