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Diet soda as bad for teeth as cocaine habit

health-and-fitness Updated: May 27, 2013 02:11 IST

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Diet soda junkies, beware! Gulping down excessive amounts of soda can damage teeth as badly as methamphetamine or cocaine, a study has warned.

Methamphetamine, crack cocaine and soda - sweetened or not - are all highly acidic and can cause similar dental problems, according to Dr Mohamed Bassiouny, professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia.

"You look at it side-to-side with 'meth mouth' or 'coke mouth,' it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same," Bassiouny said.

"The acid in soda is in the form of citric acid and phosphoric acid," he said. "Without good dental hygiene, constant exposure can cause erosion and significant oral damage."

A woman in her 30s who drank two litres of diet soda daily for three to five years experienced tooth rot similar to that suffered by a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old habitual crack cocaine user.