There have been studies conducted outside of the mouth, which fail to take into account the protective effect of saliva and the natural biological system.
One published case study1 (one athlete) did not measure the intake of other acidic beverages, did not take into account that the athlete did not use fluoridated water or toothpaste, and did not check on the patient's saliva flow. Without investigating any of these factors the study author suggested a link between the erosion in one athlete to sports drinks.
An additional study by the same author, which contained 45 subjects and did assess salivary flow within the participants, found no association between dental caries or erosion and sports drinks.2
A 2002 study of more than 300 athletes at The Ohio State University (OSU), published in the journal Caries Research, reported that the level of dental erosion in athletes regularly using sports drinks was 36 per cent versus 40 per cent erosion in non-users, disputing the idea that acidity in sports drinks contribute to dental erosion.3
- Milosevic A. Sports drinks hazard to teeth. Br J Sports Med. 1997; 31:28-30
- Milosevic A. Sports supplement drinks and dental health in competitive swimmers and cyclists. Br Dent J. 1997;182:303-308
- Matthew, T; Casamassimo, PS; Hayes, JR. Relationship between Sports Drinks and Dental Erosion in 304 University Athletes in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Caries Res 2002; 36:281-287, 2001