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fizzy drinks as bad for you as crack PDF Print Email

Fizzy Drinks Can Be 'As Bad' As Crack or Meth



Crack cocaine and crystal meth use is widely acknowledged to have an extremely negative impact on health but the effect it can have on your teeth is not always highlighted but a heavy user will normally  suffer from poor dental health and missing teeth.  Which is why a new study comparing fizzy drinks to the use of these drugs was a little surprising.  The recent study suggests diet and regular fizzy drinks are just as bad for your teeth as crack cocaine and meth.

The study discovered that a woman in her 30s who drank two litres of diet fizzy drinks per day for three to five years had tooth decay remarkably similar to that suffered by a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old regular crack cocaine user.


Methamphetamine, crack cocaine and fizzy drinks - both diet and regular - can cause similar dental problems, the most common of which is dental erosion. Methamphetamine and crack are known to severely affect the mouths of users, while frequent consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of tooth decay.

Besides exposing teeth to damaging acid, these illegal drugs reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, providing less opportunity for the acids to wash away. Previous studies have linked 'meth mouth' with a number of diseases that are increasingly associated with poor oral health.


Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, commented: "The key part of this research is the fact the damage was caused by frequent consumption of fizzy drinks. This is exactly the message the Foundation tries to make the public aware of.

"Cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks is one of our key messages, and this research highlights the possible damage not following this rule can cause.

"Every time we eat or drink anything sugary, teeth are under attack for up to one hour. Saliva plays a major role in neutralising acid in the mouth, and it takes up to an hour for that to happen. If sugary items are constantly being consumed, the mouth is constantly under attack and does not get the chance to recover.

"The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in children. The tendency to sip on sugary drinks and constantly graze throughout the day is one reason why improvements in oral health in the UK have slowed down.

"The Foundation recommends that if you do wish to graze during the day, choose foods and drinks that are going to benefit your oral health, including cheese, nuts, water or diluted juice drinks. Chewing on sugar-free gum can help to speed up the time that is takes for the saliva to neutralise plaque acids and lessen the damage that these can cause if you choose not to indulge in healthy snacking."

If you would like advice on improving your oral hygiene or preventing tooth decay it is easy to pop into your local pharmacist for a chat.  They will be pleased to advise and stock a range of products from good toothbrushes and toothpaste with active ingredients to reduce tooth decay to mouthwashes and treatments that can tackle more serious conditions.  Having an oral hygiene plan can make a significant difference in reducing the likelihood of probelms.


And cut out your and your families consumption of sugary, fizzy drinks of course.


You can also visit for more information or call the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188