Recent dental research reveals soft drinks and energy drinks to be the culprits in setting the stage up for a silent epidemic of tooth erosion among Australian teenagers.
A total of 68 per cent of students has experienced at least one tooth exhibiting signs of erosion, discovered the research that collected data from Australian schools, said the Australian Dental Association (ADA).
About 80 per cent of students aged 12 to 17 regularly take sugary soft drinks, revealed a government study conducted in Victoria and ten per cent consumed three cans of sugary drinks every day.
The problem that comes with most soft drinks and energy drinks, according to Sharon Liberali, president of the Association South Australian, is that they are extremely high in acid concentrations.
Energy drinks such as Red Bull and V were found to contain higher acid concentrations than other fizzy drinks, based on a recent study conducted by the association in collaboration with a consumer group, Choice, said Dr Liberali.
In a statement she made on Tuesday to launch dental health week, Dr Liberali said the direct damage from tooth erosion caused by acid has become a silent epidemic as the focus has always been on tooth decay.
She said, Unlike tooth decay, which is caused by bacteria, tooth erosion occurs by chemical attack without bacterial involvement. This means even people with perfect brushing and flossing can be at risk of tooth erosion.
In the convenient beverage market, energy drinks fall under the fastest-growing category, with sales increase of almost 20 per cent this year, stated the ADA.
Dr Liberali found that with their increasing availability and popularity among teenagers, energy drinks are becoming a source of concern.