The Hidden Dangers of Diet Soda
If you want to avoid getting cavities, don’t eat or drink sugar. Simple enough, right? And this is pretty easy to do, considering all the sugar-free snack options out there. You don’t even have to give up drinking sodas. Every brand of soda has a diet option with no sugar.
Does this mean that you can drink all the diet soda you want with no risk to your oral health?
The claim that diet sodas are somehow better for you than regular sodas in deceptive at best. When it comes to tooth decay, it’s just plain wrong. The fact is diet sodas are plenty bad for your teeth. And because they are marketed as a healthy, sugar-free alternative to regular sodas, they can be even more dangerous.
At All Smiles, here in Jacksonville, TX, we want you to be aware of the dangers that diet sodas pose to the health of your teeth and gums. Take a look at this information and consider it the next time you are choosing a beverage.
How Decay Happens
To fully understand the dangers posed by drinking diet sodas, you must understand how tooth decay takes place. Although sugar gets much of the blame for tooth decay, and rightly so, it is not as simple as that. The true cause of tooth decay is a bacteria known as dental caries. You are not born with dental caries, but most people pick them up from a family member at a very young age, often from sharing spoons.
Dental caries feed on sugar, which it then secretes as acid. This is why sugar is such a threat to your teeth. Acid erodes your your enamel, which if not stopped, allows the dental access to the soft interior of your tooth, or pulp. That is when infection sets in, putting your tooth, and the rest of your mouth at serious risk.
When a tooth gets infected, it makes all your other teeth more vulnerable to decay, and it can lead to a variety of health problems, including abscesses and fever.
As you can see, sugar by itself is not necessarily the problem, it is the acid the sugar creates when it interacts with dental caries. Acid is the real culprit.
The Acid in Diet Sodas
Although it is true that diet soda does not contain sugar, as you know, sugar is only part of the equation when it comes to tooth decay. Acid is just as bad, if not worse, for your teeth, and diet sodas contain lots of acid.
Phosphoric Acid – This type of acid is commonly used as flavor enhancer in diet soda. Incidentally, phosphoric acid is also used to strip rust. Can you imagine what it will do to your teeth? It will strip away your enamel to make your teeth more vulnerable to the ravages of dental caries.
Another problem with phosphoric acid is that it makes it difficult for your body to absorb calcium. So, not only does it damage your enamel, but the phosphoric acid in diet soda stops your body from repair the enamel.
Citric Acid – This type of acid occurs naturally in many fruits, but that does not mean it is safe for your teeth. Like phosphoric acid, citric acid is commonly used to flavor diet soda, and it has a similar corrosive effect on your teeth. You will also find citric acid in a lot of fruit juices and sports drinks, which are both bad for teeth, even though they are marketed as healthy alternatives to sugary sodas.
Many diet sodas contain both of these types of acid, which is why a diet soda is no better for your teeth than a regular soda. So, if you think you are sparing your teeth by choosing diet drinks instead of sugary ones, you better think again.
One of the biggest problems with diet drinks is that people are fooled into thinking they are not bad for them, so they drink a lot of them. Some people sip on diet soda all day, and even if diet sodas didn’t cause tooth decay, which they do, this would still be bad. If you are drinking diet sodas all day, then you are not drinking water all day, which you should be.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the most important things you can do for your health, especially your oral health. A large glass of water will wash sugar and food particle off of your teeth, while it also neutralizes the acid in your mouth. Water will also keep you hydrated, so your mouth can produce plenty of saliva, which has the natural ability to fight dental caries.
Come See Us
Regular checkups at All Smiles in Jacksonville, TX will help keep your mouth free of the dental caries that cause tooth decay.
So contact us today to schedule an appointment!