Dental Assistants
The Australian Dental Association has warned athletes against the risk of damaging their oral health through excessive consumption of sugary energy drinks. Reuters

Excessive consumption of sugary drinks, including soft drinks, is not good for health, but the Australian Dental Association says athletes who consume sugar-laden energy drinks in excess are at even greater risk of damaging their oral health. Considering the long-term effects of the daily intake of energy drinks, Dr. Peter Alldritt, the chairman of the dental health committee, urged the athletes to drink water instead.

Alldritt said the excessive sugar and acid levels in the energy drinks could result in erosion of the protective layer of the teeth, leading to tooth decay due to acid erosion. The dental association recently conducted a survey among 1,200 Australians, finding nearly 50 percent of adults and 30 percent of children mistake energy drinks as a healthy alternative to other drinks.

The World Health Organization said a majority of the sports or energy drinks contains nearly six to eight teaspoons of sugar per serving. This level is above the daily recommended intake of sugar as per the WHO guidelines. Alldritt said it is saddening to see people who are well-aware of the oral health implications continue to consume energy drinks.

On the occasion of the Dental Health Week, another study conducted in Australia revealed nearly 80 percent of children in Queensland do not visit a dentist at the recommended age of 2 years. In addition, it found 32 percent of the children 5-6 have never visited a dental clinic.

The Cosmetic Dentistry Guide said tooth decay is on the rise in Australia, primarily due to excessive sugar consumption. It is estimated nearly 33 percent of adults and 50 percent of children in Australia suffer from untreated dental decay.