Thursday, March 22, 2007

Resurrecting a myth

I read this: "Acids in Popular Sodas Erode Tooth Enamel"
The erosive potential of colas is 10 times that of fruit juices in just the first three minutes of drinking, a study last year showed. The latest research, published in Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) journal General Dentistry, reports that drinking any type of soft drink hurts teeth due to the citric acid and/or phosphoric acid in the beverages.

And I immediately remembered reading this (from some time ago:
Coca-Cola contains acids (such as citric acid and phosphoric acid) which will eventually dissolve items such as teeth (given enough time), but so do plenty of other substances we commonly ingest (such as orange juice). The concentration of acid in these products is so low that our digestive systems are easily capable of coping with it with no harm to us. [emphasis in original]

So, why is this tooth-dissolving claim in the news again? Oh, the Academy of General Dentistry is an advocacy group.
In renewing your membership, you will continue to be a part of the AGD’s commitment to quality oral health care through advocacy efforts and continuing education opportunities, as well as receive valuable member benefits to assist you in your dental career.

And, it doesn't seem to be very keen on the most basic of facts. Here is an excerpt from the AGD's press release relevant to the news story:
Root beer products, however, are non-carbonated and do not contain the acids that harm teeth, according to a study in the March/April 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal. [emphasis added]
And here is the description of root beer from Steve Mercer's "Root Beer Concentrate" (and supported here and here):
Root Beer is a sweet carbonated beverage flavored with sassafras. [emphasis added]

Hmm. If the AGD's primary claim is that colas are bad for your teeth (refuted by, an outfit that specializes in investigating the validity of myths), and they get the basic facts about root beer wrong (it does have carbonation in it), should we really believe the press release's claim that "[d]rinking any type of soft drink poses risk to the health of your teeth"?

I'm beginning to wonder if the AGD is in the lawsuit business as well.

No comments: