What is the connection between soda (pop) and cavities?

cavities in mouthWhether you call it soda, pop or coke, soft drinks are all the rage. You can find soda at parties, in machines, on grocery store shelves and at the check-out in gas stations. Unfortunately, you can also find the effects of high soda consumption around you as well. One of these effects, the connection between soda and cavities is also one of the most misunderstood. People seem to think that a few sodas a day—or that diet sodas—won’t have any ill effects on their health, or on their teeth. So what’s the connection between soda and cavities, really?

Does soda cause cavities?

Yes, it can. Sodas, even diet sodas, contain sugar which can mingle with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid from this reaction attacks your teeth and can decay tooth enamel. Scientific studies have shown a strong connection between soda consumption and tooth decay.

How can I reduce tooth decay from soda?

  • Limit your soda consumption.
  • Brush your teeth regularly and floss every day.
  • Schedule regular dentist appointments and cleanings.
  • Use a straw when you drink soda.
  • Drink water after soda (or instead of soda), and swish in your mouth to reduce the amount of sugar on your teeth.
  • Try to avoid soda before sleeping.
  • Avoid sipping a soda for long periods of time.

How do you diagnose and treat cavities?

Some patients with cavities experience symptoms, such as a toothache or increased sensitivity to cold or hot foods. Sometimes a patient can feel tiny holes in their teeth. Often, though, the patient has no way of knowing if they have a cavity or even multiple cavities. If left untreated, damage from the cavities can worsen and cause more issues.

This is one reason that regular dental check-ups are important, and that you shouldn’t delay scheduling your next check-up. Your dentist can find cavities during routine dental exams. Treatment options for cavities are a filling, crown or root canal. Your dentist can recommend the appropriate treatment option depending on the severity of damage caused by the cavity. If you have any questions about cavities, or are worried that you have a cavity, contact the dentist and schedule a dentist appointment. They can answer your questions so you can go to bed feeling reassured and confident that you know the truth about the connection between soda and cavities—without drinking a soda before sleeping.