Your dental crowns and fillings, carefully crafted to restore your smile’s beauty and functionality, might be facing an unexpected adversary: your favorite beverages. Whether it’s the refreshing morning orange juice, the occasional diet soda indulgence, or the energy boost from coffee or energy drinks, these beverages share a common acidic trait that can pose risks to your oral health.
We are all aware of the damaging effects of acid on natural tooth enamel, with cavities being a direct result of the acid excreted by bacteria. Surprisingly, even sugar-free alternatives, like black coffee and diet soft drinks, are highly acidic. While we have long understood the impact of such drinks on natural teeth, recent research confirms that they can also harm the restorative materials used in dental crowns and fillings.
One might assume that restorative materials, designed to be robust and durable, would be less vulnerable to damage compared to natural teeth. However, this is not the case. The composites and resins used in tooth-colored fillings and crowns can be eroded and softened by the acidity found in certain beverages.
A study examined how various tooth composites and resins responded to repeated and prolonged exposure to commonly consumed acidic beverages, including orange juice, coffee, cola, and energy drinks (water was used as the control beverage). The findings revealed that all four acidic beverages caused softening of the artificial tooth material, with cola and energy drinks being the most detrimental due to their high acidity levels.
Additionally, the research highlighted that these beverages, especially coffee, can lead to discoloration of the restorative material, resulting in yellow or brown fillings and crowns. Unlike natural teeth, tooth-colored resins and composites cannot be whitened using conventional methods, potentially leading to uneven color in your smile.
Therefore, it is crucial for everyone, including those with crowns and fillings, to limit the consumption of highly acidic drinks. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is equally vital for both your overall health and oral well-being.