Soft DRINKS and their effect on ORAL HEALTH

Commonly it is called “soda” or “soft drink” or “thanda matlab….”, different words are used to identify a carbonated/aerated, sugary cold drink or soft drink which is available in various flavors and different brand names. The advert says darr ke aage…., thanda matlab…, ye dil mange…, drinking it is fun, happiness, fact of life, winning mantra, living mantra, the way you should be etc, etc and what not. But these carbonated/aerated soft drinks can lead to not only oral but also general health issues.

Soft drinks and packed juices are very common and easily available dietary source today, which is consumed by most of us anytime in a day or many times in a day, once consumed acids & acidic sugar products and by-products in it softens the enamel (outer most layer of the tooth) which is also supposed to be hardest and most highly mineralized substance in human body contributing to the formation of cavities on the tooth surface and also erosion of the enamel layer leading to tooth sensitivity.

In certain cases, this affected enamel caused by soft drinks when combines with inefficient and improper brushing and poor oral hygiene may lead to the gum disease and tooth loss. Because of the high sugar, sodium and caffeine content in soda, it dehydrates the body and over a long period of time can cause chronic dehydration.

However, the sugar-free drinks are also not very safe as the acidic potential can still cause problems like dehydration and enamel loss, but they are less harmful in comparison. It appears that increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to obesity, kidney damage, osteoporosis, elevated blood pressure (on regular use). Soft drinks also have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones, which causes weakening of the bones.

Soft drink consumption has increased dramatically across the world, especially among children and teenagers. Everyone in spite of their age and gender can be benefitted from reducing the number of soft drinks they consume. Beverages containing less sugar and acid such as water, milk and 100 percent pure fruit juice, fresh juice is even better. Drink them yourself and encourage everyone including kids to do the same.

Never drink soft drinks empty stomach as they may harm the gastric mucosa (inner layer of the stomach). Ask your dentist about fluoride application in the form of a foam, gel or rinse, which can be done for all age groups. Make sure that after consuming a soft drink, you flush your mouth with water to remove acids and save tooth from getting exposed to acids for too long. Since, fluoride reduces cavities and strengthens tooth enamel, so brush with fluoride-containing toothpaste. Also rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash also can help.

Your dentist can recommend a higher fluoride containing toothpaste depending on the severity of the problem.

Article Compiled By:

Dr. Saket Gaurav
B.D.S.(India), PGD.Ortho, PGDAD (Cosmetic)

Dental Makeover, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

(Delhi NCR)