Main Content

Diet Soda: As Bad As Meth and Crack Cocaine?


Dr. Chauncey Crandall, a Palm Beach cardiologist, shares with us why too much Diet Coke may rot your entire mouth- resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and even heart disease.

By Victoria Taylor/ NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Drinking large quantities of diet soda can rot your teeth just like doing methamphetamine or crack cocaine does, according to a new study.

The report, which was recently published in the journal General Dentistry, found that a woman in her 30s who drank two liters of diet soda every day for three to five years had eroded teeth similar to those of a 29-year-old meth addict and a 51-year-old longtime crack user.

“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” said Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, told HealthDay.

Diet and regular soda are highly acidic, like methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Paired with poor dental hygiene, the citric and phosphoric acid in soda can lead to substantial damage and decay, Bassiouny said.

The woman in the study admitted she had not been to the dentist in years. Many of the her teeth were eroded, discolored and could not be saved. The 29-year-old in the study reported using methamphetamine for three years, and also consumed two or three cans of regular soda daily. The 51-year-old said he had been doing crack for 18 years. The three study participants needed all of their teeth extracted.

The American Beverage Association, which represents soft drink manufacturers, told HealthDay in a statement that the study shouldn’t be seen as a reason to stop drinking all diet soda.

“The woman referenced in this article did not receive dental health services for more than 20 years — two-thirds of her life,” the organization said. “To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion — and to compare it to that from illicit drug use — is irresponsible.”

Dr. Eugene Antenucci, spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry, said people are “better off” if they don’t drink soda, but he doesn’t think people need to go to the extreme of never drinking soda again — they should just be aware that the beverage is highly acidic.

“Knowing that, you limit it and understand that you need to clean your mouth afterward,” he told HealthDay. “Even simple water will wash away the acidity. And everyone should brush twice a day, if not more often.”

Read more:

Skip to content