Three Drinks That Can Cause Tooth Erosion
You probably already know that some types of drinks can contribute to tooth decay, but tooth decay isn't the only dental problem that your favorite beverages can cause. Some drinks can also lead to tooth erosion, meaning that they dissolve the enamel on the exterior of your teeth. Since this can lead to tooth sensitivity, it should be avoided. Here are three drinks that can cause tooth erosion.
Sports drinks can help you to stay well-hydrated during your hard workouts, but these beverages can strip away your enamel. Tooth enamel can start to dissolve when it's exposed to a liquid with a pH level of around 5.5, and sports drinks have been shown to have a pH level of between 2.4 and 4.5. The acids in these drinks eat away at your enamel and can leave you with sensitive teeth.
The other concern with sports drinks is that they're slowly sipped throughout the course of a workout, rather than being consumed all at once. Sipping is risky because it exposes your teeth to the highly-acidic drink for a longer period of time.
You may not think of coffee as something that can hurt your teeth—especially if you drink it without sugar—but this drink is acidic. On the pH scale, coffee averages between 5.0 and 5.1. While this isn't as acidic as sports drinks, it's still enough to cause damage to your teeth. Plus, if you tend to sip coffee throughout the course of your work day, your enamel will be exposed to the acids for a longer period of time.
To protect your teeth, try to minimize the amount of time that your enamel is in contact with coffee. Drink your entire cup of coffee at once, rather than sipping it for a longer period, and rinse your mouth with water afterwards to get rid of the acids. You can also choose dark roasts as these have a lower acid level than other types of roasts.
If you like to have a glass or wine or two with dinner, you should be concerned about enamel erosion. Wine usually has a pH level of between 3 and 4, with white wines being more acidic than red varieties.
To protect your teeth, alternate each sip of wine with a sip of water. The water helps to wash away the acids and protect your enamel. You could also consider switching your glass of wine for a bottle of beer; surprisingly, beer has a high calcium content which helps to protect your teeth.
To keep your enamel in good shape, try to avoid consuming highly-acidic drinks that could lead to erosion. If your teeth are sensitive, you may already have enamel erosion and should see a dentist, like one at West Gate Dental.