News from Your Dentist: Diet Soda Increases Your Risk of Stroke and Dementia

Posted on: May 15, 2017

DentistAs a dentist, we are interested in the overall health of our patients. Fox News recently reported that drinking one diet soda a day can increase a persons’ risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or having a stroke, This is alarming news for anyone who is consuming a lot of soda and one more reason to take our advice about avoiding soda altogether.

Risk with everyday consumption

According to the recent study, one diet soda a day can increase the risk of having a stroke or developing dementia by three-fold.  Dr. Nina Radcliff explains on Fox News, "What we consume and put in our bodies does impact our health." She also warns that it is important to be careful not to consume diet soda every single day since the study finds that it can cause strokes or dementia. The study in question was an observational study and not one that studied cause and effect. Simultaneously, she said, "We can’t make the statement that artificial sweeteners do improve your health."

When asked by the news anchor if that means people should switch to the full-sugar soda, Dr. Radcliff said, "The FDA recently said we should limit our sugar consumption." In other words – no. Diet may be bad for long-term health but drinking too much sugar is as well. For example, Harvard linked drinking soda with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Another Fox News report,,  suggested alternatives to drinking soda which include:

  • Coffee with limited sugar
  • Green tea
  • Hot chocolate made with dark chocolate
  • Milk
  • Water

In my dentist office, I make similar recommendations to patients, encouraging everyone to drink as much water as possible and to incorporate milk in their diet.

Soda is also bad for the teeth.

In addition to full soda being linked with diabetes and diet soda now linked to strokes and dementia, drinking soda is also bad for the teeth. With low pH levels, soda is highly acidic. When drunk, the acid can begin to attack the teeth and start the process of erosion. While an occasional soda should not cause too much harm, drinking soda on a regular basis will. With erosion, the enamel is literally eaten away. Since this is the outer layer of the teeth, once gone, teeth will be weak and highly sensitive. This leads to dental intervention and restorations on a regular basis.

This study is of particular importance because too many people assume that because something is "diet" it is good for them. The belief is that since it does not contain sugar, it cannot be harmful to the body. This is simply not true from a dental perspective or overall health perspective. Diet soda may be less harmful than traditional soda but the health risks are certainly high, making it best to avoid drinking soda and to switch to a healthier alternative.

Visit our dentist office.

We stay up to date on current health information to ensure that our patients have access to studies and data that can help them to make informed decisions. We encourage you to visit our dental office for regular teeth cleaning and while here, to take the time to discuss oral health and how you can improve yours.

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