Energy drinks have become immensely popular lately because of the many benefits they claim including better concentration, stamina, and memory. It can be difficult to confirm if they indeed offer these benefits, but one thing is for sure that they do come with their own share of risks.
Some of the risks that you open yourself up to if you consume energy drinks include metabolic imbalance, insomnia, cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, gum disease, and tooth decay.
To understand the effects of energy drinks on your dental health you first have to recognize the composition of these drinks. Most energy drinks are rich in vitamin assortments, flavouring and sweetening agents, herbs, and a whole lot of caffeine.
The flavouring agents usually have lots of sugar. If you consume foods that are rich in sugar, then it changes the types and numbers of bacteria present in the mouth. It even causes an increase in carcinogenic bacteria or cavity-causing bacteria. The carcinogenic bacteria consume the sugar and then emit waste in the form of acid. This acid breaks down the outer hard shell of your tooth, which is known as enamel. If you consume energy drinks regularly then it can cause tooth damage, tooth pain, and cavity formation.
The caffeine present in these drinks is a natural diuretic which ends up reducing the production of saliva in your mouth, thus causing dryness. Saliva helps buffer the effects of acidic beverages and foods and even helps in rebuilding tooth enamel. As the saliva production is slowed down it can result in weakened tooth structure and cavity formation.
When you consume energy drinks your teeth are also subjected to an extremely acidic environment. As a result, the minerals that your teeth are composed of starts wearing away, thus causing enamel erosion.
What happens if your tooth enamel is broken or gets weak?
Naturally, this is the question now running in your mind, so let us discover the answer or so to say let us understand the effects of weakened enamel.
- Sensitivity – as your tooth enamel wears away, they leave the nerves of your teeth exposed. This will make your teeth sensitive, particularly to cold and warm temperatures or excessively sugar-rich foods.
- Discoloration – as the tooth enamel gets weakened it starts showing the dentin that lies underneath. As the dentin has a yellowish colour, your teeth also will start looking yellow.
- Chips or crack – weakened enamel contributes to weakened teeth, and there are brighter chances of them getting chipped or cracked.
- Pain – Weakened enamel can also make your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities to a greater extent. If you do not treat them on time, then it can cause gum disease, infection, and you may even need to remove your tooth.
Since energy drinks can affect your teeth in so many ways, it should rather be avoided completely. However, if you cannot give up on it fully, at least, follow the tips given below so that you enjoy better dental health.
- Try not to drink energy drinks more than once or twice a week.
- Finish your energy drink within 20-30 minutes instead of sipping for hours.
- Use a straw while consuming an energy drink.
- Rinse your mouth properly after consumption.
- Brush your teeth after an hour of having consumed an energy drink.
At the end of the day, you really do not need energy drinks to keep you going. A healthy diet, drinking enough water, sleeping on time, and exercising on a regular basis will help you enjoy all the energy that you need. It offers all the benefits that you enjoy on drinking an energy drink, but without the side effects, of course.