Those who drink large amounts of diet soda for long periods of time often experience tooth erosion, rotting, decay and other types of oral damage – in many cases just as bad or worse as the effects experienced by long-term drug users, according to a new study published in the journal General Dentistry.
“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” Dr. Mohammed Boussiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry, told Health Day News.
The study references a woman in her 30’s who drank about two liters of diet soda every day for 3-5 years and suffered from eroded teeth that resembled those of a 29-year-old meth addict who had been taking drugs for three years and a 51-year-old crack cocaine user who had an 18-year-history drug abuse.
The woman’s teeth were soft, discolored and eroded, and dentists were unable to save any of the affected teeth. The woman had no choice but to have every last tooth removed and replaced with dentures.
“None of the teeth affected by erosion were salvageable,” Boussiouny said.
The woman had been drinking diet soda for years because she was worried that regular soda would cause her to gain weight. She was aware of the risks associated with consuming artificially sweetened beverages, but admitted that she hadn’t seen a dentist in years.