Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth?

Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth - Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling

Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth? New alternative (i.e. sugar free / limited) soft drinks have hit the market recently. These drinks are shifting the way we think about traditional sugary ‘rot your teeth’ drinks. We can place ‘classic’ soft drink / soda on one side and newer ‘lightly sparkling no sugar’ drinks as the other.

Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth - Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling
Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth – Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling (source: amazon.com.au)

Usually there are two things in soft drink that will cause harm to our teeth:

  • First issue is sugar – bacteria in our mouths metabolise this sugar and produce acid as a by product which in turn causes tooth decay – more sugar equals more decay. The solution to this is to avoid drinking sugary drinks (this is good for your health anyway and starves bacteria of food source) and avoid exposure of the sugar to our teeth (be sure to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards).
  • The second issue you’ll experience from drinking soft drinks is acid wear; the PH scale measures how acidic or basic something is. A 7 is a neutral result (i.e. the same as water), and less than 7 is acidic (e.g. lemons).

More about PH Scales

A PH scale of more than 7 is basic (like bicarb soda). Our saliva has a ph of 7.4 – anything with a PH of 5.5 or less is so acidic that it will dissolve our teeth. The more acidic the quicker it dissolves. Lemons have a PH of 2, cola 2.5 and sparkling water has a PH level of approx 4.5-5.5 depending on brand. So sparkling water is definitely less dissolving potential than cola, but still more than water. You can minimise the affect of acid on your teeth by having less acidic drinks (more waters), lessening exposure (drink through a straw) or making sure you don’t brush your teeth 30 mins or so after drinking or eating acidic drinks or anything really aside from water.

Carbonated drinks and your teeth: key takeaways

Realistically, moderation here is key, with the newer age drinks. If you are sensible and drink 1-2 a day (thus minimising long term exposure to the slightly acidic drink) through a straw and wait 30 mins before brushing you’ll be fine. These sugarfree sodas are a great new age solution for a refreshing drink. For soda/soft drink sadly – there’s never really a great time to drink them – especially if you can tolerate these newer drinks.

Any questions? Please feel free to contact us or make an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental.

Sensitive Teeth – Name that twinge!

Sensitive Teeth AshgroveSensitive teeth can occur for a wide range of reasons, some as innocuous as extra sensitivity, to more concerning problems such as tooth decay or infection. The tricky part is telling these causes apart!

Extra sensitive teeth

Some people simply have extra sensitive teeth! We call this hypersensitivity and although treatment is not typically required, the good news is this can usually be managed well at home with products such as a sensitive toothpaste.

Receding gums

Ever heard the saying “long in the tooth”? It should really be called “short in the gums”! It is true that your gums can recede with age however this can also occur in younger patients. Gum disease, missing adjacent teeth, and repositioning of teeth after orthodontic treatment are all possible causes although overly hard brushing is one of the more common culprits. As the gum migrates further down the tooth, more of the root is exposed causing sensitivity. It’s best to either prevent this recession or maintain our gums before the recession worsens.

Enamel wear 

Enamel is the hard protective layer on the outermost part of our teeth. This can be worn away over time due to acid erosion or hard tooth brushing habits, leaving the more sensitive dentine layer exposed. Monitor acidic foods and drinks such as fizzy drinks, lemon water, some fruits, wine and vinegar, and try to avoid their contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw or rinsing with plain water. Internal acids, such as those resulting from reflux, are also risk factors for enamel erosion and it is best to address the causes of these acids where possible. Also remember to use a soft toothbrush and a gentle brushing technique to avoid over-scrubbing your pearly whites! Where enamel loss is more significant, a filling can be placed to cover the exposed tooth surface. This replaces your enamel and will help protect the tooth from further wear.

Chipped teeth

Similarly to enamel wear, when a tooth fractures, the second dentine layer of the tooth can be exposed, leading to sensitivity. This is usually resolved once the broken portion is repaired and the tooth is covered and sealed again.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay can cause a cavity within your tooth resulting in sensitivity. Initially this may be sensitive to cold only although sensitivity to hot food and drinks can mean the nerve is deteriorating further. Often a simple filling is all that is required however, in more severe conditions, infection may mean further treatment is necessary.
 
Regardless of the cause of tooth sensitivity, the best practice for you and your mouth is to get checked out while the problem is still manageable. We’re here to help with any questions you may have, to ensure you can keep smiling until you’re grey in the hair and not “long in the tooth”! Please give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to use our online contact form.