Everyone knows and warns their children about the effects of drinking too many sugary, fizzy sodas. However, a phenomenon most recently named after the popular soda is revealing the severity of the effects of chronic soda consumption. Mountain Dew mouth is a serious condition that can cause widespread damage to your teeth and gums.
In this article, we’ll talk about what it is and why it has the name. Next, we’ll tell you what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.
What Is Mountain Dew Mouth?
Mountain Dew mouth is a phenomenon that occurs due to the chronic consumption of the eponymous soda. It contains 77 grams of sugar per 20-ounce serving, which equals about 19 teaspoons of sugar – far more than the sugar content of other soft drinks. In addition, Mountain Dew has a pH of 3.3, which is highly acidic and is in part due to its carbonation and citric acid content.
How Mountain Dew Mouth Affects Your Teeth
The combination of high sugar content and the acidic nature of the drink creates a hostile environment in your mouth. The outermost protective layer of enamel on your teeth is resilient but weakens when constantly exposed to acid. Plus, the high sugar content encourages the explosive growth of bacteria in the mouth, which feed on it and excrete waste that damages your teeth in the process.
The result? Copious dental cavities and a high risk of bacterial infection. If tooth enamel wears out, nothing is protecting the teeth from bacterial invasion. Once bacteria invade a tooth, they can infect the sensitive nerves and tissues inside, causing significant damage.
Unfortunately, as soft drink consumption rises to an all-time high, many Americans consume multiple soft drinks per day. This puts everyone at a higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and rotting teeth.
How To Prevent Mountain Dew Mouth
Fortunately, preventing Mountain Dew mouth is relatively simple – cut back on your consumption, or avoid soft drinks entirely. However, these soft drinks also contain large amounts of caffeine which makes them addictive. If you’re not ready to quit just yet, you can use some strategies to help.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly is important for keeping bacterial populations under control. It also sweeps away food particles and dental plaque.
- Don’t brush right after drinking soda. Tooth enamel is particularly vulnerable to physical wear and damage when it’s been exposed to acid. Studies suggest you should wait at least an hour after drinking soda before brushing your teeth.
- Sip water throughout the day. Water has a neutral pH and reduces the acidity of your mouth. Sipping it throughout the day can counteract the damaging effects of soft drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly. A dentist can spot cavities and dental damage before they become serious and treat them effectively. They can help you keep your teeth healthy and prevent painful and expensive complications.
Lonestar Dental Center is your complete oral healthcare destination for various dental procedures and comprehensive exams. We provide excellent service from the very beginning of your time with us in Humble, TX. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (281) 233-0333.