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Are Sports Drinks Bad for Teeth?

added on: June 9, 2016

When we think of drinks that are terrible for smiles, we usually automatically turn to soda. And while these sugary, carbonated beverages are absolutely bad for our teeth, there’s another type of drink that may be just as concerning. We’re talking about sports drinks, and at my Charlottesville dental office, we want you to know just how damaging they can actually be.

Sports Drinks Are NOT a Healthier Alternative to Soda

One of the common misconceptions is that sports beverages are a better choice than soda because of the typically lower sugar content. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. While many of the sports drinks of choice don’t contain a whole lot of sugar, they are pretty acidic, and that’s the part that’s concerning.

Acid is a large contributor to dental decay and cavities. When sports drinks are consumed regularly, teeth are exposed to a lot of acid which damages the protective tooth enamel. Why is that bad? Well, once enamel is damaged, it’s damaged, and teeth are left exposed. Without enamel, bacteria are able to wiggle into tooth crevices, feed off sugars from food, and, as a result, produce even more damaging acid. It’s an ongoing cycle that can lead to decay. But that’s not all.

But Wait, There’s More

If decay is left untreated, the possibility for more advanced treatment may be necessary. For example, decay that reaches the root of a tooth may require a root canal and crown to relieve the pain and save the tooth. Many patients are concerned and sometimes even fearful when they hear the term root canal, but it’s important to know that a root canal itself isn’t painful, it’s the damage the root canal treatment is fixing that hurts. If left alone, it will become more painful and may even lead to an infection known as an abscess, which also doesn’t feel very good.

Signs of a Problem

When a problem does occur, it’s important to recognize the symptoms so you can catch and treat it early. If you notice any of the signs of decay below, see your dentist in Charlottesville as soon as possible.

  • Toothaches
  • Pain with hot, cold, or sweet food or drinks
  • A change in tooth color
  • Painful chewing
  • Noticeable pits or holes

Prevention is always preferred over treatment. This is why we recommend dental cleanings and checkups at my Charlottesville dental office at least every six months. This way if something does occur, we can catch it and treat it early before more advanced treatment is needed. If you haven’t seen us for awhile, call to schedule your appointment today.

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