In an article from Medical News Today, Kim McFarland, D.D.S, an associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry, said that she’s seen an unparalleled increase in enamel erosion due to soda in last 25 years than ever before. This erosion cannot be reversed and can cause painful tooth problems in the future.
Whether diet or regular soda, the erosion is the same, and Americans tend to drink a lot of soda. According to the National Soft Drink Association, the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda a year. The acidic tendencies of soda ruins the pH balance in the mouth, causing tooth erosion over time.
Once erosion has occurred, sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks and even sensitivity and pain due to cold weather can occur in the teeth. The hot and cold reaches the tooth’s exposed nerve causing excruciating pain. Depending on the frequency of consumed soda, the erosion process can be incredibly extreme.
Though Dr. McFarland advises avoiding soda altogether, there are ways to prevent extreme erosion if you choose to drink it anyways:
- Drink soda through a straw to prevent most of your teeth from being exposed directly to the acids in the beverage.
- Limit consumption of soda to meal times.
- Brush your teeth or, at the very least, rinse your mouth with water after consuming soda so that acids don’t sit on your teeth for long periods of time.
- Chew sugar-free gum after consuming soda.