Sports Drinks May Damage Your Teeth

From the FMS Global and UK News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Researchers Say the Drinks Cause Tooth Erosion; Beverage Industry Calls Study Methods Unrealistic

Courtesy – Oral Health Centre

By Bill Hendrick – Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD – WebMD Health News

April 3, 2009 — Sports drinks may boost your energy, but they can also weaken your teeth, a new study shows.

The popular energy drinks sipped by many athletes to increase stamina contain levels of acid that can cause tooth erosion, hypersensitivity, and staining, according to the findings of New York University dental researchers.

The beverages also can cause excessive tooth wear and may damage underlying bone-like material, causing teeth to soften and weaken, the researchers say. The drinks may also possibly trigger conditions leading to severe tooth damage and loss.

The findings are being presented at the International Association for Dental Research in Miami.

“This is the first time that the citric acid in sports drinks has been linked to erosive tooth wear,” says Mark Wolff, DDS, professor and chairman of the department of cardiology and comprehensive care at New York University College of Dentistry.

He says people who use sports energy drinks for energy should not brush their teeth immediately after drinking the beverages. Softened enamel, he says, is highly susceptible to the abrasive properties of toothpaste.

To prevent tooth erosion, Wolff says:

Drink sports drinks in moderation.

Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow softened enamel to reharden.

If you drink a lot of sports drinks, ask your dentist if you should use an acid-neutralizing remineralizing toothpaste to help reharden soft enamel.

Sports Drink Study ‘Unfair’

In the study, cows’ teeth were cut in half. Half of the specimens were immersed in a sports drink, the other half in water, and then the halves were compared. The five sports drinks tested were Vitamin Water, Life Water, Gatorade, Powerade, and Propel Fit Water.

All five caused softening, but Gatorade and Powerade also caused “significant” staining, according to an abstract of the study.

Cows’ teeth were used because of their close resemblance to human teeth, according to a news release.

Craig Stevens, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, says such studies are unfair and do not present “an accurate or actual picture of the way sports drinks are consumed.”

“The testing procedures they used are outside the realm of what happens in real life,” he says. “Beverages pass right through the mouth, and these beverages have a purpose, and are proven to enhance physical performance. To use them like this is simply providing unhelpful information to consumers.”

He adds: “To suggest that sports drinks are a unique cause of dental caries or tooth erosion is overly simplistic. Oral health is determined by a variety of factors, including types of food consumed and the length of time foods are kept in the mouth.”

News release, New York University; International Association for Dental Research, Miami, April 1-4, 2009; Craig Stevens, spokesman, American Beverage Association.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

White Wine Can Cause Tooth Stains and Creates Conditions That Enable Other Beverages, such as Coffee and Tea, to Tint Teeth

Courtesy – Oral Health Centre

By Bill Hendrick – Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD – WebMD Health News

April 1, 2009 — Wine does not have to be red to cause stains on your pearly whites, a new study says. White wine also can create conditions that enable chemicals in other beverages, such as coffee and tea, to leave tints on teeth, say researchers from the New York University College of Dentistry.

Dental scientists soaked cows’ teeth in either white wine, red wine, or water for an hour and then immersed the choppers in tea.

Teeth soaked in white wine before being immersed in tea had significantly darker stains than teeth immersed in water before exposure to tea, researchers say.

But cows’ teeth soaked in red wine became significantly darker than those in the white wine group after exposure to tea, they say.

“Dipping teeth in white wine for one hour is similar to the effect of sipping the wine with dinner,” Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD, professor and chairman of the department of cardiology and comprehensive care at NYU’s College of Dentistry, says in a news release.

The acids in wine, he says, “create rough spots and grooves that enable chemicals in other beverages that cause staining, such as coffee and tea, to penetrate deeper into the tooth.”

Both red and white wine affect the surfaces of teeth and make them “more susceptible” to staining from dark drinks, the researchers say in a study abstract.

But red wine, long known to stain teeth, should still be seen as more hazardous to whiteness because “Red wine, unlike white, contains a highly pigmented substance known as chromagen,” says Wolff, who oversaw the study. Tea also contains chromagens.

The researchers used a spectrophotometer, a device that measures color intensities, to evaluate staining levels.

The study was led by Cristina M. Dobrescu, a third-year dentistry student at the NYU College of Dentistry. Denise Estafan, DDS, an associate professor in the College of Dentistry, was co-investigator. Their findings were presented at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research.

Wolff suggests that the study is not necessarily bad news for connoisseurs of the grape.

“The best way to prevent staining caused by wine, as well as other beverages, is to use a tooth paste containing a whitening agent,” he says.

News release, New York University; Annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, Miami, April 1-4, 2009.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.(

About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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