People are a little crazy about Diet Coke, right? Like more crazy about it than anyone should ever be about a beverage that they don't have to go to rehab for? Granted I've never been a big soda drinker so I do not speak as a representative of the Diet Coke community. I speak as someone who can't figure out why it's such a BIG DEAL, especially considering the way that diet soda is eroding your teeth possibly in the same way that meth or crack erodes your teeth. Yeah, that silver can might as well be a freshly cooked batch of that Heisenberg Blue Sky.
A new study out of Philadelphia's Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University compared the teeth of three people. (Not a big sample, but okay!) One was a woman in her early thirties who drank excessive amounts of diet soda; one was a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict; and the other was a 51-year-old who had abused crack cocaine for nearly two decades. All three came from a similar socioeconomic background and all three came from urban areas with fluoridated water. None of the subjects had experienced consistent or adequate dental care throughout their lives.
When comparing the three sets of teeth, researchers found similar, nearly identical erosion and enamel decay in each patient. The erosion was caused by the high levels of acid in each of their preferred substances. In none of the cases were the teeth salvageable and all three people had their teeth fully removed.
Of course — and the American Beverage Association would like to make this very VERY clear — these were all extreme cases. The female diet soda drinker has imbibed an average of 2 two-litres of diet soda a day for the past 3-5 years.
"The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion," the ABA said in a statement to HealthDaily.
Regardless of the American Beverage Association's claims (and the very limited sample group of the Temple study), chances are that you'll never stumble across a dentist who encourages you to drink diet soda (or any soda) excessively or otherwise. (If you do, find another dentist.)
Oh, and here's this: