The Academy of General Dentistry revealed that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use in their recent press release. According to a case study published in General Dentistry (the clinical journal of the AGD), the consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion.
Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside layer of the tooth. Without, the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored.
The case study compared the damage in an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion from each participant. It was noted that each individual admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis.
Lead author of the study, Mohamed Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, comments, "Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their 'drug' of choice - meth, crack, or soda." The soda drinker consumed 2 liters of diet soda for three to five years. Academy of General Dentistry recommends patients minimize their intake of soda and drink more water. "The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda, even diet soda, is not harmful to their oral health."