Soda consumption increases the erosion of tooth enamel, finds new study.
In the last 25 years, Kim McFarland, D.D.S., associate professor in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Lincoln, has seen an increase in the number of dental patients with erosion of the tooth enamel - the protective layer of the tooth.
Once erosion occurs, it can't be reversed and affects people their whole life.
"I'd see erosion once in a while 25 years ago but I see much more prevalence nowadays," Dr. McFarland said.
"A lot of young people drink massive quantities of soda. It's no surprise we're seeing more sensitivity," she said.
Triggers like hot and cold drinks - and even cold air - reach the tooth's nerve and cause pain.
Depending on the frequency and amount of soda consumed, the erosion process can be extreme.
She said the National Soft Drink Association estimates the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda a year.
Phosphoric and citric acid, which are common ingredients in many popular sodas and diet sodas, alters the pH balance in the mouth and can cause tooth erosion over time.