Soda addiction as bad for your teeth as meth or crack: study

diet-coke-planeBad news, diet coke junkies: gulping down excessive amounts of soda is no longer just bad for your teeth, now it’s as bad for your teeth as crystal meth or crack.

That’s according to one study, anyway, which found that excessive consumption of soda – even diet soda – can rot your choppers as badly as ingesting two of the most dangerous narcotics on earth.

The good news is it likely takes far more soda than the amount consumed by a normal human being to achieve the same dental devastation as crack or meth.

The study – conducted by Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia – references a woman in her 30s who drank two liters of soda a day for nearly five years. According to Bassiouny, she had the same amount of dental damage as a 29-year-old meth user and a 51-year-old crack addict.

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Gross: this is what happens when you don’t go to the dentist

The meth user, however, also consumed two or three cans of regular soda a day because the drugs made his mouth dry, and the crack addict has been a regular crack user for 18 years, nearly four times as long as the soda drinker had been consuming excessive amounts of soda. Additionally, the soda drinker admitted that she has not seen a dentist in many years.

“None of the teeth affected by erosion were salvageable,” Bassiouny tells U.S. News and World Report, noting that all of the study participants had to have all of their teeth removed.

The study also finds that sugar-free soda is just as damaging to teeth as regular soda if they are consumed in the same quantity because of their acidic content – a high acidity level also is what makes crack and meth so bad for teeth.

But soda advocates say the study is flawed, and that comparing soda to illegal drugs is unfair and ‘irresponsible.’

‘The woman referenced in this article did not receive dental health services for more than 20 years — two-thirds of her life,’ the American Beverage Association said in a statement. ‘To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion — and to compare it to that from illicit drug use — is irresponsible.

‘The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion,’ the group said. ‘However, we do know that brushing and flossing our teeth, along with making regular visits to the dentist, play a very important role in preventing them.’

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More gross: this is what happens when you don’t go to the dentist AND you use crystal meth

Published at the Daily Mail, May 24, 2013.

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