Diet Soda Habit as Bad for Teeth as Meth Addiction?

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Dr. Tasto | Diet SodasHeavy consumption of diet soda can damage teeth as badly as methamphetamine or crack cocaine, a new study contends.

“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” said Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia.

“Methamphetamine, crack cocaine and soda — sweetened or not — are all highly acidic and can cause similar dental problems,” Bassiouny said in a study recently published in the journal of General Dentistry.

Bassiouny said “The acid in soda is in the form of citric acid and phosphoric acid. Without good dental hygiene, constant exposure can cause erosion and significant oral damage.”

I have been practicing for 20 years and have seen my fair share of meth mouths.  The characteristics are unique and obvious.  The mouth is typically dry and teeth have severe decay and heavy wear on their teeth.  After many months and years of neglect, the teeth become unrestorable and are therefore extracted and not saved.  I have never seen a “soda drinker” have characteristics to the extent of a “meth mouth”.

Although, in my opinion, I find fault in his study due to the low number of patients.  I agree that all soft drinks cause dental erosion due to the acidity levels.  The high levels of acid cause the enamel to erode and weaken and thus more susceptible to decay and wear.  Decreasing the amount of acid intake is the key.

We also have to look past the teeth and look at the damage the acid is doing to our organs.  A blood ph that is acidic can do severe damage to your organs.  Testing saliva can give us an excellent idea of the patient’s acid-alkaline levels.  At our dental office we can quickly test the patient’s saliva to give them an accurate reading of their acid-alkaline levels.  An Acid-Alkaline food comparison chart is a great tool to assist in the education of foods you consume on a daily basis so you can modify your diet to decrease the acid.

What needs to be taken away from this study is simply that sodas are very bad for your teeth and your overall health.  Eliminating sodas, or at best, decreasing them, is the key to better health.

So the next time you are going to have a soda, make the healthy decision and have a water.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Dr. James Tasto

Born and raised in San Diego, Dr. James Tasto attended University of San Diego High School where he lettered in both golf and wrestling. After earning a Bachelors in Science from Loyola Marymount University, Dr. Tasto graduated from University of Southern California Dental School with an emphasis on cosmetics and sports dentistry.  Dr. James Tasto was selected by his peers to be included in the List of Top Dentists in San Diego for 2007 – 2013.  He appeared in the May issue of San Diego Magazine.  Dr. Tasto is also a member of D.O.C.S. (Doctors Offering Charitable Services), a local organization that offers medical services such as plastic surgery, vision and dental to the less fortunate patients in San Diego.  Dr. Tasto currently resides in San Diego with his lovely wife Traci and their 3 children. He enjoys golf, beach volleyball and playing with his kids.


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