Are Sports and Energy Drinks Damaging Your Teeth?


Sports drinks hit the wire today with a red light that their level of acidity is increasingly responsible for irreversible damage to teeth, especially among adolescents and younger adults, their predominant target market.

“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda … Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

The acidity levels are responsible for eroding tooth enamel, the hard, shiny, white outer surface of the teeth. Once this is compromised, the inner softer dentine can start to decay quite easily, with the tooth cavity making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

tt_tooth_ED_zoom@2xResearchers looked at acidity levels in 13 different sports drinks and found levels varied greatly between both brands and different flavors of the same brand. Scientists immersed samples of tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes and then replaced them in artificial saliva for two hours. The cycle was repeated four times per day for five days to mimic the equivalent of drinking four smart drinks per day. At all other times, the teeth were stored in the artificial saliva.

After just five days, the damage was already evident, with energy drinks causing double the damage of more balanced sports drinks. Some fifty percent of US teenagers are reported to consume energy drinks and as many as sixty two percent consume at least one sports drink per day. Parents and young adults should be made aware of the downside to the heavily marketed products, says the report.

“Teens regularly visit dentist with these types of symptoms, but they don’t know why … We review their diet and snacking habits and then we discuss their consumption of these beverages. They don’t realize that something as seemingly harmless as a sports or energy drink can do a lot of damage to their teeth.”

So minimize the intake of sports and energy drinks and also consider chewing sugar free gum to promote saliva production, as well as washing the mouth with water, to assist the body in returning the mouth to its natural PH, a little quicker. Also wait at least an hour before brushing teeth to avoid rubbing the acids directly onto the tooth surface.

Although marketers might not want to admit it, natural fruit juices and especially coconut water which has excellent re-hydrating properties, might make a better alternative to smart drinks, which are often loaded with sugar, caffeine and artificial ingredients, and can be costly, not only in purchase price, but also in dentistry bills.

Relieve Dental Anxiety Naturally With New Technology

You’re not alone if you suffer from some form of dental anxiety.  NuCalm-Product-Photo_July-2015_2200-900x619

82% of all adults experience this in one form or another.  Grant Road Dental has invested in some exciting new technology.  NuCalm is a patented neuroscience technology is clinically proven to naturally alleviate anxiety and reduce stress in the dental chair without drugs. Ask about it at your next dentist appointment!


Electronic Cigarettes and Your Oral Health

Electronic Cigarettes and Your Oral Health  - Grant Road Dental

There is little documented evidence regarding the oral effects of e-cigarette use. In one 2011 study, Polosa, et al, 32 found 6% of patients reported mouth irritation; 8% sore throat and dry mouth; and 9% mouth ulcers after 4 weeks of use. After 8 weeks, 8% reported coughing and after 24 weeks, 8% had throat irritation and 7% dry mouth.

The FDA posts adverse event reports it has received concerning electronic cigarettes since 2008. To date, 115 adverse events concerning e-cigarettes have been reported, including four reports of mouth irritation and/or gums bleeding.

It is well known traditional cigarettes have many health risks associated with its use. Upon inhalation of tobacco smoke, the dry heat produced from the cigarette causes a hypoxic (dry) environment that is detrimental to the oral cavity. If there are, in fact, no toxic chemical substances in the ENDS solution, but the smog production causes a dry environment within the oral cavity, are e-cigarettes a better alternative?

At this time, overall research demonstrates a relatively low incidence of adverse oral effects; however, more long-term studies are needed to fully assess this device.

Systemic effects of e-cigarette use also needs further research. Goniewicz, et al,33 evaluated the vapors from 12 brands of e-cigarettes. The study found the vapors contained 9-450 times lower toxic substances than that of traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, although data is limited, it is clear that e-cigarette emissions are not merely “harmless water vapor,” as is frequently claimed, and can have negative health impacts and be a source of indoor air pollution.

The nicotine levels in the blood stream are unclear and vary depending on the research. Levels range from a similar level to that of cigarettes and others indicate a lower blood nicotine level. More research is indicated in this area.

It is known that nicotine, at high levels, can be lethal. ENDS cartridges contain concentrated nicotine, ranging from 6mg-24mg. If a child were to ingest the nicotine from an ENDS cartridge, acute nicotine poisoning, and possibly death, could result.34 Indeed, in April 2014, a CDC study reported that the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.

It is suggested both duration (years of cigarette use) and intensity (cigarettes per day) determine the negative health effects of smoking.

The 2014 report of the US Surgeon General concluded that “reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day is much less effective than quitting entirely for avoiding the risks of premature death from all smoking-related causes of death.”

Use of electronic cigarettes by cigarette smokers to cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked per day is likely to have much smaller beneficial effects on overall survival compared with quitting smoking completely.

This situation is particularly likely to exist for cardiovascular disease. Light smoking, even 1 to 4 cigarettes per day, is associated with markedly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.65 In addition, e-cigarettes deliver loads of fine particles similar to those of conventional cigarettes. Above certain intensity, the specific levels of exposure may not cause significant differences in risk for cancer. Doll and Peto66 found a dose-response relationship between duration of smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day and risk of lung cancer, with models suggesting the impact of duration to be greater than that of intensity. Using participants from the Cancer Prevention Study II, Flanders et al67 found a greater increase in lung cancer mortality with a greater duration of cigarette smoking compared with a greater intensity of smoking. Overall, this data suggest that lung cancer mortality increases more with additional years of smoking than additional cigarettes per day. Thus, if dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes results in reductions in the number of cigarettes per day for current smokers, any reduction malignancy risk will be less than proportional to the reduction in cigarette consumption because of the (likely larger) importance of duration of smoking.

“Even though e-cigarettes are known to be much less harmful for health than tobacco smoking products, nobody knows what their long-term health and addiction consequences might be.” – Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York

Five Benefits of Dental Implants Over Other Treatments – Dental Health

Tooth human implant (done in 3d graphics)

If you are missing a tooth, this is a problem that you shouldn’t hesitate to take care of. There are many disadvantages to having missing teeth, including having trouble eating and speaking properly, an increased risk of gum disease, and a feeling of self-consciousness.

Treatment Options for Missing Teeth

The 3 common treatments to choose from when you are missing teeth are implants, dentures, and bridges.
Dental implants are made of titanium and act like the root of a natural tooth. An implant is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth, and over time (usually about three months), the jawbone grows around the implant, so that it becomes as secure as a normal tooth. The new tooth is attached to the implant once it is firmly set in the jaw, using a connector called an abutment.

Dentures are another option if you are missing teeth. You can either get partial or complete dentures — partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth remaining, and complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. Dentures, which are removable, are made up of replacement teeth that are attached to a plastic base.

Bridges are also another option. A bridge is made up of an artificial tooth (or teeth), suspended between two crowns on either side. Crowns are made out of a ceramic or porcelain material, and they fit over your existing teeth like a cap.

The Advantages of Dental Implants

If you are missing teeth, you no doubt have many questions about these different options, but, to begin with, when it comes to missing teeth, dental implants have many advantages over these other treatments.

1. More natural function: Perhaps the biggest benefit of implants over other treatments is that, because they bond with your bone, over time they start to feel no different than a natural tooth. This means they feel natural, comfortable, and stable even when eating and talking.

2. Little maintenance required: You just brush and floss as you usually would. Dentures, on the other hand, can involve a whole time-consuming process of removing and rinsing them after you eat, soaking them overnight, cleaning your mouth when your dentures are out, all in addition to brushing them. And, when dentures are in your mouth, they need adhesives, which can be messy.

3. Longevity: Implants can last a lifetime. Crowns and bridges may have to be replaced every 10-15 years, and dentures may have to be replaced, on average, every 3 to 8 years. Dentures can also lose teeth and wear down over time.

4. Stability: Dentures can be inconvenient and possibly embarrassing if they move around or slip while you are eating or talking. Dentures can become ill-fitting and loose as a result of natural changes in the mouth that come with age. If a patient continues to wear dentures that don’t fit properly, he or she can develop sore spots in the mouth that can become infected, and can even lead to oral cancer.

5. Keeps other teeth in place: Implants can help keep your mouth healthy. If you opt for an implant, this acts to protect and support the surrounding teeth and keeps them from shifting. With bridges that are supported by other teeth, the natural teeth on the other sides of the bridge have to be filed down and contoured correctly so that the appliance will fit on it correctly. This procedure can make teeth vulnerable to decay, periodontal disease, bacterial plaque accumulations, and even root canals.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month – April

Oral Cancer Awareness - Social Media Graphic

While all other cancers are declining, oral cancer diagnosis over the past six years have increased. Oral Cancer is officially an epidemic, killing one person every hour of every day. 50% of men and 33% of women will battle a form of cancer at some point in their life. Raised awareness and more advanced screening technologies enable early detection of cancer thus increasing the survival rate of those who are diagnosed. “Most oral cancer is very treatable when detected early,” says Dr. Rutner. With OralID, an advanced screening technology, I can detect even the most subtle signs of oral cancer offering us a greater chance at saving lives.

“April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month and is an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of being screened early and often for oral cancer,” Dr. Rutner said. “Studies show that up to 40% of oral cancers occur in patients who do not use alcohol, tobacco, or any other significant lifestyle risk, and a new risk factor that is causing oral cancers among young non-smoker is HPV. Saving lives is important to us at Grant Road Dental. That is why I am offering free oral cancer screening”, says Dr. Rutner.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone who is 17 or older should receive an annual oral cancer screening. Dr. Rutner added that a majority of oral cancer is detected during the later stages, when the survival rate of the person affected is reduced (34%-56%). If oral cancer is detected at the earlier stages or the pre-cancer stage, then the person affected has a 90%+ survival rate.

Our office will be including complimentary oral cancer screenings in our New Patient Special for $99. This offer includes x-rays, records and cleaning. To schedule an appointment, visit our website at or call us at (650) 938-8127.