As the weather warms up and we’re spending more time outside in the heat, we tend to get thirstier than normal. Many of us may turn to our favorite sports drinks to rehydrate after a day in the sun or after a tough workout. While these beverages can help replace lost electrolytes due to sweating, they can also damage teeth if consumed too often. Let’s join your dentist in Hagerstown to see how sports drinks can damage teeth.
Acid Is As Bad As Sugar
You’ll hear your dentist talk about enjoying sugary drinks in moderation, but they should also talk to you about doing the same with acidic beverages such as sports drinks. Even though many sports drinks don’t contain high amounts of sugar, they do tend to be acidic. This acid can attack tooth enamel and leave teeth at risk for decay. But that’s not all. Once tooth enamel is gone, it doesn’t come back so teeth remain at risk.
As enamel is worn down, it makes it easier for bacteria to settle into teeth. These bacteria feed on food particles and release an acidic byproduct which further exacerbates the problem. The more this cycle repeats, the more likely it is for cavities to develop and require treatment from your dentist in Hagerstown. But if this treatment isn’t sought early, what was once a simple filling can become something more complicated.
Root Canals, Abscesses, and More
If a cavity isn’t treated quickly, a small cavity can easily become a big cavity that affects the inner workings of the tooth. If the decay hits your roots, it will be painful and may require a root canal from your dentist. This treatment will ease pain and prevent the decay from causing even more problems. Now, if a tooth that needs a root canal is left alone, it may develop a painful infection called an abscess, or worse, the tooth may require extraction.
Symptoms of Decay
If you know the symptoms of decay, you can get treatment early when it’s often easier. Some symptoms of decay, include:
- Hot or cold sensitivity
- Pain when biting
- Holes in the teeth
Experiencing any of the above should be a sign that you need to see your dentist in Hagerstown.
The best way to protect yourself from decay is to enjoy sugary and acidic foods and drinks in moderation, brush and floss your teeth every day, and see your dentist at least twice a year from preventive dentistry checkups. If you’re due for a visit, call today to schedule an appointment.