The energy drink craze


  Posted by: Dental Design      26th June 2023

Energy drinks are readily accessible, often endorsed by celebrities and sports-related companies and a popular beverage of choice within the UK. While touted as a stimulant for mental and physical performance, they have long been a concern for healthcare professionals, especially within the dental sector. Their highly-addictive nature, paired with the sugar content, can spell disaster for the oral cavity. Their consumption is still thought to be high among various age groups, meaning that energy drinks continue to pose as a threat to the population’s oral health.

The implications of energy drink consumption

These beverages are available in a variety of flavours, with vibrant designs and powerful marketing. Comprised of ingredients like caffeine, taurine, vitamins and sugar, in addition to additives like glucuronolactone, flavourings and colourings,[i] most energy drinks contain little that is good for the body. Some studies have found positive associations between energy drinks and physical performance,[ii] noting factors like improved memory, alertness and mood. However, numerous adverse effects have also been recognised, such as an increased heart rate and arterial blood pressure,ii with the high caffeine intake potentially triggering acute/chronic headaches. Obesity is associated with a high sugar consumption,[iii] suggesting that the overconsumption of energy drinks could promote increased weight gain.[iv]

Considering that popular energy drinks can contain up to 63mg of sugar per can,[v] it would be safe to suggest that those who consume high quantities of these beverages are at risk of adverse health effects, especially when in conjunction with other lifestyle habits. Indeed, statistics from the Oral Health Foundation suggest that approximately one in four British adults depend upon energy drinks to help them through the day.[vi]

The UK government has addressed the issue of energy consumption among the under 16s in particular, with many supermarkets imposing a ban on the sale of these items to this age group. However, a recent study postulated that up to a third of UK children consume caffeinated energy drinks on a weekly or monthly basis.[vii] The effects of energy drinks on younger age groups have been examined: consumption of these products may disrupt sleep duration,[viii] or even potentially cause supraventricular extrasystoles (a form of cardiac arrhythmia) in healthy subjects.[ix]

Protecting oral health

The devastating effects of energy drinks on oral health have likewise been noted. Studies have found that a high and regular consumption of energy drinks is likely to promote dental erosion,[x] in addition to potentially contributing to cervical dentine hypersensitivity.[xi] In conjunction with other negative factors such as alcohol consumption and a poor diet, dire effects may start to manifest within the oral cavity, potentially leading to serious complications if a thorough oral hygiene routine isn’t maintained. 

While cutting the habit out entirely is best, patients should be mindful of moderation when it comes to the consumption of energy drinks, but it’s challenging for dental professionals to advise patients on their habits. Some individuals may feel judged, and others may not divulge their habit at all. Nevertheless, when armed with relevant oral health advice, patients are in a better position to keep their teeth and gingiva safe from the common effects of energy drinks.

To enhance their oral hygiene routines at home, why not recommend the Waterpik® Water Flosser? Available in a range of models, the Waterpik® Water Flosser is easy to use and is needed for only a minute a day. Extensive clinical research supports its efficacy, showing that it can remove up to 99% of plaque and is 50% more effective for improving gum health versus string floss.[xii] [xiii] The powerful pulsations help to dislodge debris and bacteria from between the teeth and below the gumline, for a superior clean every day.

Supporting patients

The consumption of energy drinks is just one of the many common habits adopted by the population, in younger and older age groups. While some benefits may be experienced, such as a boost during exercise, energy drinks may put patients at risk of future oral (and general) health complications. By establishing a thorough oral hygiene routine, patients can protect their oral health from the adverse effects of the acids and sugars present in energy drinks.


For more information on Waterpik® Water Flosser products visit Waterpik® products are available from Amazon, Costco UK, Argos, Boots, Superdrug and Tesco online and in stores across the UK and Ireland.

Join the 3,000+ dental teams who have already benefitted from a professional WaterpikÒ Lunch & Learn. Book your free session for 1 hour of verifiable CPD and a free WaterpikÒ Water Flosser – available either face to face or as a webinar – at

Sharon Kidd

GDC – 4566Diploma in Dental Hygiene 1993Hygienist 

Sharon qualified as a dental nurse in The Royal London Dental Hospital in 1988. She trained as a dental hygienist in the Royal Army Dental Corps in 1993. 

Sharon has experience working as a hygienist in a variety of different settings including dental hospital, domiciliary home visits, military, private and general practice. She works with specialists and general dental practitioners to support patients with different needs including those who are nervous to visit the dentist. 

Sharon is also a professional educator for Waterpik, water flosser .

And enjoy family time at home with my husband two teenage daughters and family pets


[i] (n.d.). Energy Drinks Europe. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[ii] Alsunni, A.A. (2015). Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects. International journal of health sciences, [online] 9(4), pp.468–74. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[iii] Siervo, M., Montagnese, C., Mathers, J.C., Soroka, K.R., Stephan, B.C. and Wells, J.C. (2013). Sugar consumption and global prevalence of obesity and hypertension: an ecological analysis. Public Health Nutrition, [online] 17(3), pp.587–596. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[iv] Breda, J.J., Whiting, S.H., Encarnação, R., Norberg, S., Jones, R., Reinap, M. and Jewell, J. (2014). Energy Drink Consumption in Europe: A Review of the Risks, Adverse Health Effects, and Policy Options to Respond. Frontiers in Public Health, [online] 2. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2023].

[v] Proper Wild. (n.d.). What Energy Drink Has The Most Sugar? [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[vi] Oral Health Foundation. (2018). Charity calls for severe changes as the UK’s ‘dangerous dependency’ on energy drinks is revealed. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2023].

[vii] Khouja, C., Kneale, D., Brunton, G., Raine, G., Stansfield, C., Sowden, A., Sutcliffe, K. and Thomas, J. (2022). Consumption and effects of caffeinated energy drinks in young people: an overview of systematic reviews and secondary analysis of UK data to inform policy. BMJ Open, [online] 12(2), p.e047746. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[viii] Sampasa-Kanyinga, H., Hamilton, H.A. and Chaput, J.-P. (2018). Sleep duration and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and energy drinks among adolescents. Nutrition, [online] 48, pp.77–81. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[ix] Mandilaras, G., Li, P., Dalla-Pozza, R., Haas, N.A. and Oberhoffer, F.S. (2022). Energy Drinks and Their Acute Effects on Heart Rhythm and Electrocardiographic Time Intervals in Healthy Children and Teenagers: A Randomized Trial. Cells, [online] 11(3), p.498. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[x] Clapp, O., Morgan, M.Z. and Fairchild, R.M. (2019). The top five selling UK energy drinks: implications for dental and general health. British Dental Journal, [online] 226(7), pp.493–497. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[xi] Pinto, S.C., Bandeca, M.C., Silva, C.N., Cavassim, R., Borges, A.H. and Sampaio, J.E.C. (2013). Erosive potential of energy drinks on the dentine surface. BMC Research Notes, [online] 6(1), p.67. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jan. 2023].

[xii] Waterpik UK. Waterpik Water Flosser removes 99.9% of plaque biofilm. Available online. [Accessed 19 Apr. 22]

[xiii] Waterpik UK. Waterpik Water Flosser: Twice as effective as string floss. Available online. Accessed 19 Apr. 22]

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