Energy drinks take toll on teeth

March 12, 2008 |

For more than 10 years, energy drinks in the United States have been on the rise, promising consumers more “oomph” in their day. In fact, it is estimated that the energy drink market will hit $10 billion by 2010. While that may be great news for energy drink companies, it could mean a different story for the oral health of consumers who sometimes daily rely on these drinks for that extra boost.

Previous scientific research findings have helped to warn consumers that the pH (potential of hydrogen) levels in beverages such as soda could lead to tooth erosion, the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. The studies revealed that, whether diet or regular, ice tea or root beer, the acidity level in popular beverages that consumers drink every day contributes to the erosion of enamel.

However, in a recent study that appears in the November/December 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer reviewed journal, the pH level of soft drinks isn’t the only factor that causes dental erosion. A beverage’s “buffering capacity,” or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in the cause of dental erosion.

The study examined the acidity levels of five popular beverages on the market. The results proved that popular “high energy” and sports drinks had the highest mean buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel.

According to the study, the popularity of energy drinks is on the rise, especially among adolescents and young adults. Their permanent teeth are more susceptible to attack from the acids found in soft drinks, due to the porous quality of their immature tooth enamel. As a result, there is high potential for erosion among this age demographic to increase.

In fact, Raymond Martin, DDS, MAGD, AGD spokesperson, says he treats more patients in their teens to 20s for tooth erosion. “They drink a great deal more sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks,” he says. “The results, if not treated early and if extensive, can lead to very severe dental issues that would require full mouth rehabilitation to correct,” says Dr. Martin.

Drink responsibly for your oral health:

Use a straw positioned at the back of the mouth so that the liquid avoids the teeth
Rinse the mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages
Limit the intake of sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks

One Response to Energy drinks take toll on teeth

  1. Anonymous July 15, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Everyone,

    I currently am working with a number of dentist trying to promote preventative dental practices. As a former college athlete I know how brainwashed we are into thinking that these drinks are “good for you.”Well we have to consider how much money various universities take in from corporations such as Gatorade. The schools are basically selling their athletes to be visual marketers of their products.

    However, if anyone knows anything about acidity and the body they should know all the various problems that are associated with it. One being tooth decay. I just returned from a conference in Virginia that dealt with the benefits not only for your teeth but for your body as a result of drinking alkaline water. The company that I am currently working for (it is looking to increase its international exposure) has two products that I am confident will accomplish their motto of changing the health of a generation.

    Anyways, the name of the company I am working with is called Xooma Worldwide with their primary product named X20. However in order to compete with companies with various sports drinks they have come up with all natural (Truly 100% NATURAL) powders to put into water to give it flavor to increase peoples desire to drink water and stay hydrated.

    I have included the website:

    The X20 is the signature product that is manufactured from nature -coral calcium – which you may have heard of before, but not all coral calcium is the same (nor is it manufactured the same) The product brings your body into an alkaline condition, were you are able to have greater health benefits. For example, most people are dehydrated. Normal water doesn’t take care of the hydration (as it is “dead water”) which is linked to our ph levels as well so what happens is the blood will steal alkalizes from our bone mass in tern for providing more of a reserve for our body – this leads to things such as osteoporosis. This is just ONE example out of many.

    The other product is the X20 Blast, which I mentioned above. It is used to compliment the X20 to get people to drink more water by changing the taste to expand the market. The product provides electrolytes as well as antioxidants (Just as various sports drinks). Additionally, it contains a high ORAC
    value. So for a minimal cost you are able to provide vitamins and
    nutrients to people who may not be able to afford or can’t stand to eat fresh foods daily. :)

    Anyways, this is a brief bit of information for everyone to increase awareness on the damage cola, sport drinks, juices, and other vitamin waters do to the body and especially teeth. Please check out the website I have included and if you have any further questions or would like to talk more I would be happy. Contact me at or 419 290 6507.

    Just a side note: there are also various job opportunities to help
    this company expand so if you are interested please look further into the website as this is a very lucrative industry and I would love to help some of you become successful. Just to let you know I am currently working on an informational booklet that would be a perfect thing to place in the waiting room of dentist offices to increase consumer awareness.

    Hope to hear from you.

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