The short answer is yes, they can. Dr. Reagin thinks exercising and taking care of your overall health is important, but wants his patients to think twice about consuming large amounts of sports and energy drinks when exercising. They can damage both your teeth enamel and your waistline with the acid and added sugar each of them contains. Many people think these drinks contain less sugar and acid than traditional sodas, but often that is not true.
While both energy and sports drink can do damage to your teeth because of the high level of acid and sugar in them, energy drinks do twice the amount of damage, according to a study published in 2012 in the journal of General Dentistry. Amounts vary by brand and flavor, but there is no one brand or flavor that is exceedingly better than the others. Southern Illinois University School of Dentistry analyzed the levels of acidity in nine different energy drinks and 13 different sports drinks to determine each brands composition.
They went further by soaking tooth enamel samples in each sports or energy drink. The samples were soaked for 15 minutes in each drink, and then were soaked for two hours in artificial saliva, for four times a day for five days. The researchers found that enamel damage was evident after just five days.
Most student and adult athletes do not need to consume sports drinks daily when participating in moderate intensity activities. Drinking plenty of water and sports drinks in moderation is often enough. If you do consume sports drinks, you can rinse your mouth with water to help reduce the amount of acid that remains on your teeth.
If you have an increase in cavities or teeth that have become sensitive to touch or temperature change talk to Dr. Reagin or your dentist at your next appointment. These can be the result of damage to your tooth enamel.