Being from the middle of Appalachia here in Asheville, NC, we Dentists are faced with a very serious issue we call “Mountain Dew Mouth.” This dental disease involving rampant decay usually strikes our under educated population due to their unchecked consumption of sugary foods and beverages along with a lack of dental hygiene education. It’s important to understand that even though this disease is called Mountain Dew Mouth, Mountain Dew is not the only culprit causing such a high amount of dental decay. This type of dental decay can be linked to just about every type of soda including DIET sodas! But out of all of the sodas, Mountain Dew has created the most notable bad effects on our teeth which most dentists have attributed to the high sugar content and high amount of caffeine which make people addicted to the beverage,thus drinking it all day long!
Here are the ingredients of Mountain Dew:
Mountain Dew – High fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, treated water, orange juice and other natural
flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate(preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, gum Arabic, erythorbic
acid(preserves freshness), and calcium disodium edta(to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil and
You will notice that Calcium Disodium EDTA is in Mountain Dew to “protect it’s flavor.” In dentistry, EDTA is used to soften hardened canals in the center of the teeth when doing root canals. So this has made me stop and think…maybe the reason sodas, like Mountain Dew, are causing so much decay is because of the combination of lack of dental hygiene, high amount of sugar in the drink, the addictiveness of the soda due to the high amount of caffeine, and the presence of EDTA which we use in dentistry to soften your teeth! All these things in combination can have a very bad outcome! Other drinks that have EDTA are Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Brisk Iced Tea, and Tropicana Pink Lemonade.
So what can we learn from all of this? I would think very long and hard about what you are eating and drinking. If it has a name on the ingredient list that is too difficult to pronounce, it’s probably not good for you or your teeth. The only beverage that has any nutritional benefit to us in any way is WATER! We really don’t need to be drinking anything else to quench our thirst or hydrate. If you want to drink a soda once in a while, limit it to drinking one with a meal!