Sugar-free drinks, candy may lead to dental erosion, study finds

The Washington Post (12/1, Cha) “To Your Health” reports that researchers from the Melbourne University’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre “tested a wide range of sugar-free soft drinks, sports drinks and sweets and found that many of them can be just as harmful to teeth as their sugared counterparts due to their chemical composition.” Researchers found that because these sugar-free beverages “contain acids like phosphoric acid (found in colas) or citric acid (found mainly in lemon and lime flavored drinks),” they can “strip away a tooth’s outer layer – leading to chalkiness of the tooth’s surface, pitting, opacity, tooth sensitivity and other issues.” Thefindings (pdf) were published in the Australian Dental Journal.

HealthDay (12/1, Preidt) reports that the researchers found that the acid in these beverages “dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues,” causing “dental erosion.” The study showed that “most soft drinks and sports drinks caused dental enamel to soften by between 30 percent and 50 percent.”