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Mountain Dew Mouth Plagues Appalachia

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Although Pepsi Co., was initially hoping to brush off reports of so-called “Mountain Dew Mouth,” the horrific mouth disorder continues to get attention. Pepsi Co. is the manufacturer of the popular, sugary drink that has been linked to increasing rates of pediatric tooth decay and loss is some poorer areas in the United States. For instance, in the Appalachians, appropriate dental care and education are basically nonexistent, said Wise Geek, leaving many there with bad dental hygiene that is aggravated with residents’ consumption of foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar. Dentists working in Appalachian areas are calling severe cases of tooth decay caused by sugared sodas “Mountain Dew Mouth,” said Wise Geek. Mountain Dew soda contains the highest caffeine levels of any soft drink and, to cover up the bitter caffeine taste, the soda’s formula calls for increased sugar or high fructose corn syrup, said Wise Geek. It also seems that children and teens in Appalachia tend to buy large bottles of Mountain Dew, drinking the sugary beverage throughout the day, which is, essentially, creating a sugar bath in the mouth over the course of the day, said Wise Geek. According to NewsInferno, one report revealed that

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a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains about 11.5 teaspoons of sugar and that a 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew is about the same as taking one-half of a tablet of NoDoz. At least one dentist in the area is addressing the problem in the eastern Kentucky area of the Appalachians. ABC News said that PepsiCo is now looking to work with Dr. Edwin Smith after its news report on the matter. Smith told ABC News about how dental neglect has impacted the communities he treats, discussing teens pulling their teeth with pliers to stop mouth pain, parents putting the soda in baby bottles, toddlers with about one dozen cavities in their baby teeth, and children in too much pain to brush their teeth. ABC News noted that the highly sugary, very acidic drink acts as a sort of anti-depressant. NewsInferno points out that the high levels of caffeine render the soda addictive and note that Mountain Dew is readily available in Appalachian communities and Mountain Dew Mouth victims are drinking much more than just a 12-ounce can of the soda daily. Dentists, said NewsInferno, told ABC News that the children in Appalachia are addicted to Mountain Dew.

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