On paper, diet soda seems to have a lot of advantages. The zero-calorie and sugar-free drink will help you cut down on consumption and provide you with a lot of the same features as a regular soda. Unfortunately for your mouth, diet soda will cause potential dental issues. Even though the elimination of sugar is positive, certain dental risks still come with these drinks.
A lot of things are OK in moderation, but education and knowledge will help you make the best decisions and prevent dental issues in the long run. Learn all of the ways diet soda is just as bad for dental health as regular soda.
1. Acids & Enamel Wear
One of the key issues with any form of soda is the acids present. The carbonation of soda features acids that can break down the enamel on your teeth. If you go a long time without brushing after consuming diet soda, then the soda will remain on the teeth and break away at the enamel.
When enamel wears away, your teeth become more vulnerable to cavities and decay. If you choose to drink diet soda, rinse your mouth out with water afterward or brush your teeth. If you’re on the go, then stick with some fresh water to keep your mouth clean.
The process is not instant but eventually, your mouth will develop soft spots. Dental x-rays can capture the soft spots and showcase areas where enamel may have worn away. Once worn away, enamel doesn’t just grow back. You may need fillings or crowns to help protect the tooth again.
2. Caramel Coloring & Tooth Stains
Many of the traditional dark-colored sodas use the same caramel coloring whether you drink regular soda or diet. The caramel coloring gives the soda its classic look but could present staining issues for your teeth. Similar to coffee, excessive soda consumption could lead to tooth stains in your mouth.
Over time, you may notice a general yellowing of your teeth. The white vibrant luster of the teeth could fade over time and result in stains from the soda dyes. One of the main ways stains may accelerate is through the acids present in soda. When the acids weaken the enamel, the dyes reach under layers of the teeth and can result in more permanent stains.
After some time you may consider a whitening treatment, but you shouldn’t rely on whitening your teeth over and over again. Try to cut down on soda consumption to retain the color of your teeth.
3. Caffeine & Dry Mouth
One of the main reasons a person may drink diet soda is for the caffeine. Many people rely on a daily dose of caffeine to boost their energy and keep them alert through work or other activities. Unfortunately, whether you drink diet soda or regular soda, the caffeine still impacts the mouth in the same way. Caffeine will often cause dry mouth.
Extended periods of dry mouth can cause a lot of dental issues. Without a proper saliva flow, the bacteria in your mouth remains on your teeth and gums. An increase in bacteria could lead to inflamed gums and the eventual formation of gum disease like gingivitis. Without proper treatment, infections could grow and lead to serious problems for your teeth.
Try to limit the amount of diet soda you consume on a daily basis. A dentist can evaluate the dryness of your mouth and will see any signs of swollen gums or teeth issues. If you feel like your mouth is dry from soda, then drink a lot of water to help refresh your mouth and wash away the harmful bacteria.
4. The “Diet” Effect
Knowing that you’re drinking something with zero calories could have a big impact on your psychological state of mind. When you have drinks with no calories, you may feel like you could make up those calories with other food options. The “diet” effect could lead to more unhealthy food choices. You could consume more, but you also risk the health of your teeth.
You may have more sugars or carbohydrates, which could break down enamel and eventually form cavities. Instead of just focusing on the diet aspect of a drink, try to make better healthy food choices all around.
Some studies have shown that the effects of diet soda are also caused by artificial sweeteners. The sweeteners can make the body feel more hungry and result in more food cravings. Check to see what sweeteners are included in the diet sodas you drink.
When you cut down on diet soda consumption, you will eliminate the sweeteners and could help your overall health along with your dental health.
If you have concerns over diet drinks and your oral health, make an appointment with us at Valley Oak Dental Group. We will provide you with the best care and solutions for any oral health issues you have suffered through.