23 September 2013

"Mountain Dew mouth"

From a story at NPR:
[O]ver in Appalachia, the region that stretches roughly from southern New York state to Alabama, the fight against soda is targeting an altogether different concern: rotted teeth. Public health advocates say soft drinks are driving the region's alarmingly high incidence of eroded brown teeth — a phenomenon dubbed "Mountain Dew mouth," after the region's favorite drink...

Dentists have also found that the effects of soda on teeth are strikingly similar to the effects of methamphetamine or crack on teeth... Drinking more than a soda a day raises the risk that found in many soft and energy drinks will eat away at your tooth enamel and its pearly white color...

Harris says that dental problems are especially bad because dental care is harder to get in Appalachia, which includes many of the poorest and most remote communities in the country. Many people don't trust the well water in their homes because of pollution concerns and probably drink more soda because of it...
More information at the link.  Photo from a related article at First Choice Dental.


  1. Ok, ok, there is more going on with that mouth than Mountain Dew!

  2. If you have even a nodding acquaintance with a toothbrush, no amount of soda should cause this. I've heard before that correlation between soda and tooth decay being similar to that of meth. I don't buy it. Yes, soda is hard on teeth, so is juice or anything acidic. But this is about a lack of basic dentistry and personal hygiene.

  3. There are several factors at work here. Yeah, too much soda is a real thing. They put Mountain Dew in baby bottles where I come from (it's much cheaper than formula or even milk).

    Second is the dental services. When I moved back to my hometown about twenty years ago, I went to a dentist and he said, "You have a cavity. Do you want me to pull the tooth?" That apparently is standard remedy, since pulling a tooth cost $30 at the time and filling it was $200. I had mine filled.

    Third, there is something called "Kentucky chalk teeth." It's genetic. I've lived all over, but I come from a long line of Appalachians. My teeth are all there, but every one is filled, capped, or crowned. And I grew up brushing regularly, seeing the dentist, and I don't drink soda pop. I don't even put sugar in my coffee. Meanwhile, my kids, who are adopted from far away, have never had a cavity.

  4. The study they cite comparing it to meth is pretty highly suspect. The 1 (that's right, one and only) soda drinker they had in the study hadn't been to the dentist for 20 years.

  5. And we say we're a First-World country...


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