I've never been a huge fan of diet soft drinks, preferring their sugar-loaded older brother instead. By the sound of this study, it's a good thing I do!

CBS News reports that a recent study published in the journal General Dentistry claims that diet soda you crave so much may be helping you cut down on calories, but it may also be putting you on the fast track to dentures, saying that too much diet soda could cause as much damage to your mouth as an addiction to meth or crack cocaine.

The culprit isn't sugar, it's acid. Specifically citric acid that's used in many of today's soft drinks, including my precious "fully loaded" brands.

Researchers compared the teeth of a 29-year old confessed meth user, a 51-year old with and 18 year cocaine habit, and an unspecified aged third patient who drank a ridiculous amount of diet soda, "about two liters a day", for three to five years. It should be noted that all three did not take good care of their teeth and hadn't made regular trips to the dentist.

The study found that although all three had different types of "addictions", the effects the substances had on their teeth were similar. The report's lead author, Dr. Mohamed A. Bassiouny, said via a press release, "Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their 'drug' of choice - -meth, crack, or soda."

Of course the people who make a living peddling those sweet, delicious concoctions on the public were quick to try and dispel the theory. The American Beverage Association (ABA) called the study unfair on the basis that the diet soda patient hadn't been to the dentist in 20 years.

While I agree that too much of a good thing can turn it into a bad thing, I have to lean towards the stance of the ABA. Not only should the soda patient's general oral hygiene be considered, but that fact that she drank nearly two liters of diet soft drinks A DAY for years should eliminate her from consideration.

Can you imagine drinking two liters of diet soda a day?!?! Did she ever leave the bathroom? Imagine taking a road trip with that woman. It would take you three times as long to get anywhere because you'd be stopping for pee breaks every 10 minutes.

Back on point. I'd like to think that a normal person who drinks one or two diet drinks a day, and takes proper care of their teeth wouldn't have the same results. But then again, I'm not a doctor, so what do I know. It just seems like the authors of the study were looking for a reason to cast soda in a negative light.

So should you stop drinking soda all together? Probably not. But, like anything else, enjoying it in moderation probably isn't a bad idea.

[Source: CBS News]

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