Study: Diet soda as bad for teeth as meth, crack

Drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use, according to a case study published in the March/April 2013 issue of General Dentistry.

The consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion, the study authors found.

The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals' mouths: an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. The individual who abused soda consumed 2 L of diet soda daily for three to five years.

Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participant's mouth.

"Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their 'drug' of choice -- meth, crack, or soda," said Mohamed Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, lead author of the study, in a press release. "The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion."

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