Does "Mountain Dew Mouth" Have Anything To Do With Mountain Dew?

The "Mountain Dew mouth" fuss looks more like a war against a disfavored beverage than a legitimate health concern.


Earlier this week I appeared in a HuffPost Live debate on the topic of "Mountain Dew Mouth."

The term blames soda in general—and Mountain Dew in particular—for the Appalachian "region's alarmingly high incidence of eroded brown teeth."

It's true that Appalachia boasts some very high rates of tooth decay. But is Mountain Dew or soda writ large to blame?

I'm skeptical.

Claims of Mountain Dew Mouth gained national attention in 2009.

One of my fellow guests on HuffPost Live, Prof. Priscilla Norwood Harris of Appalachian Law School, wrote a law review article that year on the alleged phenomenon. The article, Undoing the Damage of the Dew, is an expansive look at the topic.

Prof. Harris concluded that if Pepsi won't "do more," then new regulations (including soda taxes) should follow.

A recent NPR article that revived the issue and precipitated this week's HuffPost Live segment contextualizes the conversation about "Mountain Dew Mouth" as part of a larger "fight against soda" in America.

That's the crux of what this conversation appears to be about. It appears to me to be just another battle in the public health community's fight against soda.

The dental angle isn't a new one.

In fact, the author of the recent NPR article, Eliza Barclay, refers to her own reporting on a study, published earlier this year in General Dentistry, in which she claims that soda drinkers' "teeth could deteriorate so much that they look like the teeth of a methamphetamine or crack addict."

Cracked, the humor publication, reviewed the same study and quickly concluded its claims were "B.S."

The Mountain Dew Mouth debate is predicated on claims that people in Appalachia drink more soda than do Americans elsewhere and that Mountain Dew, a favorite there, is a particularly nefarious drink.

How do those hold up to scrutiny?

A June 2013 Men's Health article, Capitals of Cola, lists Charleston, WV, in the heart of Appalachia, as one its "fizz-free towns"—places where soda is unpopular. None of the cities cited in the article as top per-capita soda consumers were located in Appalachia. Instead, America's top ten soda-consuming cities are found in Texas, California, Western Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio.

And, according to data Prof. Harris cites in her 2009 article, Mountain Dew is actually less acidic than Diet Coke.

That's important because it's acid that's bad for teeth. But, say experts, soda is no worse in that capacity than a host of other beverages.

"This is any soda, any juice, any milk," said Dr. Maria Lopez-Howell, a dentist and consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, in comments on the HuffPost Live panel about the harm that repeated, continuous consumption of any acidic beverage can cause.

So it's not that soda's impact is any different than that of juice or milk.

What's more, the link between soda consumption and cavities in children is tenuous at best. A 2001 study published by the Journal of Dental Research found an "absence of apparent effects of sugared soda consumption in younger people[.]"

Notably, soda consumption has been on the decline in the United States for more than a decade. Mountain Dew and its parent company, PepsiCo, know that to be true, as a recent Huffington Post headline, PepsiCo Struggling To Adapt To Declining U.S. Soda Consumption, makes clear.

What's more, consider why people in places like West Virginia may choose soda or juice instead of water. They often don't have access to fluoridated tap water. And they often fear their well water is polluted. Add to those factors poverty and lack of adequate dental insurance and it's easy to see why tooth decay is rampant in Appalachia.

Taxing impoverished soda drinkers won't improve their dental health. So what will?

Thankfully, tooth decay is as unfortunate as it is preventable. To start, there's education and fluoridation.

Dentists have played a key role in efforts to prevent "bottle rot," which occurs when parents put infants to bed with baby bottles to sip on overnight and the acids in the milk or juice rot the baby's teeth.

So better dental health isn't impossible. But it doesn't begin with needlessly vilifying Mountain Dew. It doesn't hinge on the pointless "fight against soda" being waged in this country. Rather, it involves people like dentists and parents and educators working together. That's worth doing.

NEXT: UN Adopts Resolution to Rid Syria of Chemical Weapons

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.


    1. OT:

      Guess who said this:

      “If you take those [surveillance powers] away, think about the last week and what will happen in the future,” he said. “If you think it’s bad now, wait until you get some of those things that happened in Nairobi.”

      1. Just saw this. What a fucking fuck.

        Every motherfucker at the NSA needs to be put on trial for treason right the fuck now. And, no, “following orders” will not be considered a legitimate defense.

        We also need to bring Snowden back home and throw the biggest goddamn parade we can fucking muster. Something extravagant to really puke in the eye of all the authoritarian fucks out there.

        Fuck let’s do it on the same day. Give everybody the day off, put it on all the teevee channels and have the first national hangin’/homecomin’ hoedown.

      2. He’s made some very foolish comments… somebody from the BO message machine needs to get him to guard his mouth a little better. At Black Hat he gave the keynote address, and when someone asked why we have to worry about terrorists, rather than dodging or giving a vague answer he started going on about how the Muslims want to bring Sharia law here — which is shall we say a fringe viewpoint even among supporters of the NSA programs.

        1. To be fair, AQ and company do want global Sharia. That doesn’t mean we should surveil.

  2. Mountain Dew is supposedly drunk by (and more so marketed to, I think) the Wrong Class of Americans.

    Appalachians are a Wrong Class of Americans, being the so-called “bitter clingers”.

    Therefore it’s virtuous to use the government’s bullying power against them. Or something. I’m convinced this is a KUTLUR WAR issue.

    1. Right? They’re not going after purple Kool-Aid.

      1. Purple drank FTW

          1. Saw your message yesterday but was working off-site and didn’t have time to respond. Glad you like Comodo Dragon. I think it’s a nice alternative to Chrome without giving up how nice a browser Chrome is.

    2. When I was in college, Mountain Dew was the drink of choice for computer nerds, I think because of the caffeine content.

      1. Yeah, me too. I’m somewhat surprised to hear it’s a redneck thing.

      2. It’s still high on the list for a lot of us, along with coffee. Programming means we need to think completely logically for hours on end with little sleep. We have to have something that will keep us going without messing with our ability to reason. So, yeah, caffeine.

      3. I’ve been drinking the Mountain Dew throwback recently. Not so much for the sugar vs. corn syrup thing, but more that it has more of a clear citrus taste than the regular stuff.

        1. Wikipedia says they added orange concentrate to the formula.

  3. First they came for the 4LOKO…. And now it’s in every gas station

    1. Isn’t Four Loko now alcohol-free? I thought that was the bansturbators’ real problem with it, that the Wrong Class was using it to get their alcohol/caffeine mix. They should have stuck to Irish coffees instead.

      1. Caffeine free.

      2. What they really need to do is attach an espresso bar to a microbrewery.

      3. I’m forced to mix my own Red Bull and Vodkas again.

        When the caffeinated alcoholic beverages came out, my first two thoughts were, this is fucking awesome and I wonder why no one thought of this before.

        Then…government made my life better.

  4. My younger brother offered to donate a kidney if it ever came to that. I told him I didn’t want his Mountain Dew pickled kidney, he drinks so much of it. After reading this, maybe I’ll reconsider.

  5. What? Is this a real thing?

    1. Duh! COKE is the Real Thing.

  6. “Mountain Dew Mouth” just rings of ignorant, elitist, public healt stupidity that tries to combine medicine with the culture war. Orange Juice is just as acidic as Soda (ph=5), and Pepsi offers just as many drink machines with Tropican orange juice as it does Mountain Dew. The idea that Appalachian people somehow drink more Mountain Dew than the general population sounds like an ignorant idea that some “educated” public healt official conjured up as he imagined how awful and backward Appalachia must be.

    1. It’s because Mountain Dew sponsors NASCAR.

    2. Soda (ph=5)

      Cite? I think you’re off by a couple orders of magnitude. Doing a quick dip (what, everyone doesn’t have a pH meter at hand?) shows that it’s about 2.5.

      1. Hey Old Man, take your sugary sweets somewhere else.

        1. You can totally trust him and his panel van.

          1. My van is equipped with NMR, FTIR, DSC/TGA, and Karl Fischer titrators.

            You know who else used Karl Fischer titrators?

            1. Uh, Karl Fischer?

            2. Quincy, M.E.?

              1. The chick on CSI?

      2. My bad. I misread my ph chart that said ph=3 as ph=5, but my point was that orange juice has a similar ph and popularity, yet it’s not being vilified by the public health authorities.

        1. Because Orange is in the name so it must be good for you. Duh!

          1. My name is Anita Bryant and I approve this message.

            1. … but not for any of those homosexuals.

        2. Who gives a shit. Both are less acidic then the acids in your stomach.

        3. IT will be. Give them time and successful soft drink prohibition and that will be the next target.

      3. OMWC, I had no idea you were a pool man.

        1. Complete with brown chicken brown cow on the boombox. Different prey, different bait.

    3. This site has a handy table of the characteristics of Drinks That Eat Teeth. Among its many entries:

      Coke Classic pH=2.52
      Mountain Dew pH=3.22
      Apple Juice ph=3.4

      This reminds me of one of the challenges my wife had when my kids were young. For some reason many mothers had the addled notion that apple juice is just as good for children as soda pop is bad. Our kids would complain constantly complain that “Bobby’s mom and Trevor’s mom let them have unlimited juice boxes” when my wife told my kids to drink water. Twenty years later, I don’t know what the state of their dental health is, but Bobby and Trevor are both rotund twenty-somethings now.

      1. FWIW, a good Chablis will have a pH similar to Mountain Dew. I hope Professor Prissy “Here’s an ambulance to chase” Harris was kind enough to warn consumers about Louis Michel’s grands crus; one assumes that she’ll see more of this in her social circle than she will Mountain Dew.

        The World’s Most Interesting Pervert says, “I don’t always drink soda, but when I do, I prefer Mountain Dew.”

    4. The word isn’t elitist, it’s classist.

      And nobody has mentioned yet how a bunch of people who claim to be champions of the underclass always seem to be so disgusted by the members of that class.

  7. “Mountain Dew Mouth” is largely the result of a cultural history that downplays the value of oral care. It was assumed for a very long time that your teeth were going to fall out in any case and be replaced, so why bother brushing and flossing. Source – My father worked for an Appalachian dentist decades ago.

    That is not to say that I haven’t seen baby bottles filled with Mountain Dew, a practice that blows my mind.

    1. Just what every family needs — a baby hyped up on caffeine. NTTAWT, but it keep it out of earshot of me, please.

      1. Sign at place I had lunch yesterday. “Unattended children will be given an expresso and a free kitten.”

        1. Yeah, but how many kids with a kitten are going to be focused on collaborating on Excel spreadsheets?


      2. Not to worry, they give them a little Bendaryl in it to keep the kids on an even keel.

    2. I drink sodas like a fiend and when I was younger, I didn’t always practice the best dental hygiene. So, when a dentist visit revealed some damage, I immediately began to improve by brushing and flossing regularly. I also switched to diet sodas, but I’m not sure how much that helped. But, in any case, I haven’t had a cavity since that visit.

      1. Do adults still drink sugared soda?

        I switched to diet 20 years ago and haven’t had 3 sugared sodas since. WAY too sweet.

        1. Back when I worked for a residential child care facility we hosted a workshop. The first two days were for administrators, the second two days for direct-care staff like houseparents.

          The first two days we ran out of caffeine-free diet soda, the second two days we ran out of the high octane real thing.

          Not a study or anything, just observed phenomena.

    3. That is not to say that I haven’t seen baby bottles filled with Mountain Dew, a practice that blows my mind.

      Sunkist Orange Soda has more caffeine than Coke. I used to babysit a kid who was a TERROR until I realized his parents saying he could have as much Sunkist as he wanted was the problem. He literally (not figuratively) tried to climb up the kitchen cabinets to get to the bottle when I took it away.

      1. Weirdly in the UK Canada and Australia it does not have caffeine.

    4. That is not to say that I haven’t seen baby bottles filled with Mountain Dew,

      Do they ‘water’ their plants with it too?

        1. It’s got what plants (and babies) crave!

  8. Facts don’t matter. Striking at an acceptable target matters. Some targets are acceptable, no matter how much we babble about diversity and about the downtrodden.

    1. Everything that makes Mountain Dew the target is illustrated by image.

      ? White
      ? Male
      ? Working class (redneck)
      ? Clings to firearm (or an evocative equivalent)
      ? Appears to be satisfied in the lap of white male privilege.
      ? Possesses more Mountain Dew than he really needs.

      1. That, and of course, NASCAR.

      2. I’m 1, 3, and 5 (and 2, technically). I guess that makes me evil.

        Nice to know who your friends are, innit?

    2. Yeah, but why is soda a hot target now? Is it a bandwagon effect, as with fur? Like suddenly people are attacking it, and everybody’s like, of course, don’t you know?

  9. There is a “fight against soda” being waged in this country. but it is not pointless. What is pointless is misguided government intervention; of which, there is too much already.

    I concur that any such “fight” should be waged by people “like dentists and parents and educators working together”, i.e., the grassroots. And, the grassroots’ “fight against soda” should not be focused solely on the side effects of giving the teeth an acid bath. The primary focus should, instead, be on the extremely serious side effects of continual ingestion of the very high levels of carbohydrate with which soda is laced; namely, obesity and Diabetes Mellitus Type II.

    A supreme irony is that shifting to drinking what is ostensibly a more healthful choice, fruit juice, is no better than soda. Fruit juices also contain very high levels of carbohydrate. What is needed is for people to educate themselves on what happens, biochemically, inside their body as it reacts to what they eat and drink. Then, they can make the proper choices. It will not be until people begin to make properly informed food and drink choices that the food industry will start listening and supplying more healthful food and drink products. That’s worth doing.

    1. The food industry provides more options now than it ever has in its history. The problem (I prefer to see it as just a part of the human condition) is that people will always have their vices, and those vices tend to have negative impacts I health. Add to it the paternalism of the public health office, and you create a situation where one vice, and by extension the people who enjoy that vice, are vilified while another one goes unnoticed, condoned, or even celebrated.

      Take for example the efforts in some areas to block access to fast food while they are also trying to legalize marijuana.

    2. The public health lobby – whether it’s government initiated or private industry trying to influence government policy is just evil and partially responsible for the current state of the health of Americans.

      Coke has a new ad campaign…’a calorie is just a calorie’ or all calories are equal – which is a LIE. They know it’s a lie but can get away with promoting it because government health guidelines and policy promote it as well.

      Government in conjunction with industry once again fucking the public. Great.

      1. – which is a LIE.

        You bet it is!
        And it isn’t so much the presence of sugar, smoke or coffee in the mouth that cause tooth decay. It’s the malnutrition and blood sugar swings that cause the damage.

  10. Umm…we don’t drink soda in Ohio. We drink pop. Soda is fizzy water fancy people put in liquor.

    1. We drink pop.

      Yet another reason not to live in Ohio.

  11. The Mountain Dew people could do a promotion in tandem with Arm & Hammer, and give away a few ounces of baking soda with every purchase, to raise awareness of its effectiveness for cleaning teeth.

  12. If we were talking about black people’s penchant for fruity-flavored sodas in a discussion about obesity in the black community, we’d be denounced as racists. For some reason, polite society still seems to feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to denigrate the people of Appalachia for their culture–I don’t know of any other minority group for which that’s still acceptable.

    1. Insert watermelon/KFC joke here.

    2. Pentacostals?

    3. Yep! Redneck culture is the most despised in the world.

      –I don’t know of any other minority group for which that’s still acceptable.

      The obese. No shit, a local Southern Baptist preacher told me 20 years ago to “Repent of the twin sins of gluttony and sloth!” We were both member of the YMCA, so I invited him to see how I did against him on any combination of machines there. I beat him running, lifting, and on the heavy bag and the elliptical.

      1. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2…..-into.html

        Read the nastiness in the Slate article Atlhouse is talking about here. It shows a near genocidal hatred by the writer of the white working class. It is really gross.

      2. obesity is not a race minority group. its a condition of choice.

        dont try to downplay the fact that redneck is the only mainstream form of racism that is given a pass.

        1. obesity is not a race minority group. its a condition of choice.

          I was morbidly obese on a 1200 calorie diet while exercising 2 hours a day. Now, by defying dietary advice from every government expert, I typically eat 2500 calories, exercise a bit over 30 minutes and weigh less than 2/3 what I used to. I have kept it off for 9 years.
          Don’t try to tell me I was like that by choice. I made the mistake of listening to the supposed experts, including a half dozen doctors.

    4. But, Ken, they are white people, and therefore by definition privileged by the our white dominated society. Clearly the people of rural Appalachia are the beneficiaries of generations of pro-white racism, isn’t it OBVIOUS?

    5. Correction Ken…if you or I talk about black people’s penchant for fruity sodas, we’d be racists.

      But when the professional nannies of the Regulatory State talk about African-Americans being “targeted” with menthol cigarettes and fast food, which they also seem to have a penchant for, that’s different; indeed, you and I would then be racists for NOT talking about it.

      1. Yes, the correct way to speak of these things is to say that black people are VICTIMS of evil capitalism.

        Damn KFC and it’s fried chicken aromas for enslaving the black man.

        (kidding, everyone likes fried chicken, not just black people).

      1. I don’t think denigrating native Americans is acceptable in polite society.

        Maybe it’s a regional thing.

        1. Define denigrating.

          Are you talking about real hatred or are you talking about joking about associated stereotypes?

          1. I’m talking about denigrating anybody because of their race or culture…

            In polite society, people don’t make fun of Native Americans for being Native Americans–but they do make fun of white people in Kentucky and West Virginia for being who they are!

            They make fun of people who aren’t Appalachians for acting like Appalachians, too.

            If you support gun rights, you’re just a stupid hillbilly. Can you imagine someone in polite society saying that if you support such and such a position, then you’re just a dumb [insert n-word]?

            There are plenty of people who would see such a statement as almost criminal–and yet have no problem essentially saying the same thing about “rednecks”, etc. It’s blatant hypocrisy. The only reason they get away with it is because so many people in “polite society” share some pretty disgusting prejudices about the people of Appalachia.


            1. I come at this from a different angle. I draw a distinction between making fun of a group and hatred for a group.

              People need to be able to laugh at themselves.

              When I was very young I was overly sensitive. I got picked on…alot. The reason I got picked on was that I let it get to me and I allowed them to use it as a weapon against me. When I learned to laugh with them instead of fighting them, it all stopped.

              Jews are tight. Polocks and Swedes are dumb. Indians and Irishmen are drunks. Blacks eat watermelon. Italians smell like garlic. Arabs ride camels. Asians are smart and have small dicks. Germans are uptight. Mexicans eat beans. West Virginians fuck their sisters. Rednecks have abandoned cars in their yards. Canadians have no real national identity…

              All this shit is funny. It’s NOT degrading or hurtful, and trying to make it so takes credibility away from addressing REAL hatred, like where people are burning crosses in your yard and assaulting you.

              The way to overcome racial stereotypes is to embrace them and laugh at them and stop being so fucking sensitive, not to force others not to use them.

              1. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never seen a black person eating a watermelon. I honestly have no idea where that stereotype comes from.

                Same for fried chicken. The vast majority of racial stereotypes I’ve never seen any evidence are actually true.

                There *are* a few that hold up, and those that do generally are the ones that are taboo to say anything about even in jest.

            2. I was arguing with a self-identified communist online once who insisted on calling me a hillbilly. I told him he couldn’t be more wrong– northern Indiana is flat as a pool table, there aren’t much in the way of hills to be found there at all, and if he was going to call me anything, he should call me a redneck.

  13. “Mountain Dew Mouth” is right up there with “food deserts” in the annals of prog idiocy.

    People in the Appalachians have dental issues for the same reason the Scots do. They traditionally don’t give a shit about dental care, and that includes just brushing teeth every day before bed, which alone does an amazing job of preventing most tooth decay issues.

    1. What is a food dessert. I hear it mentioned all the time, but I’ve never had the patience to inquire about it.

      1. Desert – places where ‘healthy’ foods are not readily available or are swamped by the ready availability of ‘junk’ food.

        1. Food desert – an inner-city community that does not have walking-distance or easy public transportation access to a supermarket or farmers market with fresh fruit and vegetables. This may be due to higher rates of pilferage and the constant threat of armed robbery, or it may be due to lack of adequate demand to cover fixed costs. In any case, if one could operate such a business at a profit, the food desert would be an oasis.

      2. Urban areas where people are supposedly fat and/or unhealthy due to lack of access to affordable “healthy” food.

        The Mirage of Blooming ‘Food Deserts’

        New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata, who has an admirable record of questioning conventional wisdom about health issues, turns her skeptical gaze to the “food desert” hypothesis, which holds that poor people eat crappy diets and get fat because they do not have ready access to healthy comestibles such as fresh fruits and vegetables. As Kolata notes, this idea “has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama,” despite a lack of evidence to support it.

        That bolded sentence fragment applies to “Mountain Dew Mouth,” and most prog stupidity.

        1. Yes, I like Gina Kolata, and getting caught in the rain…

            1. More than just puppies for that.

          1. I’m not much into health food. (Could not resist)

      3. Theoretically, people are fat because the free market just refuses to provide them with access to fresh produce.
        IF ONLY we could force 7-11 to stock fresh Kale, then the fatties wouldn’t have to eat at McDonalds or live off of frozen pizzas.

        1. “IF ONLY we could force 7-11 to stock fresh Kale”

          Collard greens, maybe, to target to another ethnic stereotype? Nope, that wouldn’t work unless the 7-11 also stocked salt pork or bacon, to which the food Nazis would also object.

          1. I would like to insert a snarky comment about wal-mart carrying a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and lefty city governments fighting to keep them out.

            But Wal-Mart produce seems to go bad more quickly than the produce at other supermarkets around here, leading me to believe that they have longer supply chains and therefore older produce. So I won’t make a snarky comment about how the lefty pols in charge of big cities work so hard to keep the nation’s largest retailer out of the cities where they complain of a food desert.

            But I want to….

            1. I think it depends on where you live. The produce I get at Walmart typically gets eaten faster than it can go bad. But I live in Texas so maybe our supply chains are short?

    2. People have dental issues because they consume tons of sugar and carbs. Mountain Dew is only one sugar delivery system. It’s definitely a class/culture war issue, though.

      We need to start a public health initiate pointing out that wealthy people damage their health with excessive use of anti-depressants. Or we could mind our own fucking business.

      1. That’s an issue in general, but do you really think that people in the Appalachians (or Scotland) eat that much more sugar and carbs than everybody else?

        They don’t brush their teeth, and when that inevitably causes tooth decay, they tend to stay away from the dentist as long as possible. Yes, it’s really that simple.

        1. Poor people in general consume more cheap carbs. I’m sure some consistent brushing and flossing would solve some of the problem, but the inflammation caused by excessive sugar consumption effects health pervasively beyond what good dental hygiene can resolve. Type II diabetes and congenital hearth issues or more common among the poor as well.

          1. dammit – heart issues not hearth issues. I really need to preview. 🙁

            1. Well, poor people do have far fewer fireplaces than the wealthy.

          2. We’re not talking about poor people in general, remember? And there are plenty of poor people outside of the Appalachians.

            And while some studies have shown a correlation between poverty and diabetes, the proposed explanations are not very convincing, and are mostly speculation at this point.

            1. I wonder if they have the causation backwards. Diabetes makes you feel like shit, makes it hard to think, and generally makes you lethargic as hell. I wonder if perhaps some people are poor because they had early and untreated diabetes.

              1. Good point. That’s the trouble with correlation studies, they can easily mislead.

                While we’re on the subject of oral hygiene, here’s another hypothesis. People living in poverty tend to have poor oral hygiene, which causes chronic bacterial infection and the related issues with inflammation and circulatory disease. This leads to higher rates of type II diabetes and heart disease.

                1. I think there are studies showing a link. But I’d suspect that messed up gut biome from a crap diet has a much stronger effect, ie, the bacteria in the gut is way more important than the bacteria in the mouth.

                  1. the bacteria in the gut is way more important than the bacteria in the mouth

                    The influence of gut bacteria is another area that has been largely overlooked in the past, but seems to be getting a lot more attention now.

                    And of course these things can all be related. It’s conceivable that gut bacteria is influenced by oral hygiene, in addition to diet and other factors.

      2. Such language for a lady!

        1. Yeah! Chicks shouldn’t be speaking fucking English.

  14. OT
    There are still entirely too many people working for a living in CA:
    “Law advising public of chemical dangers kicking in”

    It won’t cost anything!
    “The lengthy, bureaucratic process begins with the list of chemicals identified Thursday.”

  15. Add to those factors poverty and lack of adequate dental insurance and it’s easy to see why tooth decay is rampant in Appalachia.

    Lack of dental insurance? Seriously? Reason is advocating the ridiculous notion of dental insurance?

    Dental insurance is not insurance at all but, rather, pre-paid dental expense that benefits only those savvy enough to game the system. “Health insurance” creates the third-party payer system that distorts the character of health-care markets. The “lack of adequate dental insurance” is a major reason that dental services have not inflated as immensely as hospital services over the past twenty-five years (570% v 1207%, respectively.)

    1. I agree with you, but as someone who is “savvy enough to game the system” (ie everyone in my family uses our “free” bi-annual dental cleaning/check-up visits), I’d just like to say shhhhhhhhhh, already. I’d like everyone else to continue to subsidize our dental visits, mmmmkay? (I’m only half kidding)

      1. The insurance company wants you to get the cleaning. It is one of the few types of preventative care that actually works and saves money.

        1. So, nudge.

      2. ” I’d like everyone else to continue to subsidize our dental visits, mmmmkay? ”

        I love that you have it exactly backwards and are proud of yourself for it.

        You don’t even know what you’re getting wrong lololol.

        1. Sorry, fella, but we receive “free” dental insurance (no employee contribution) and our preventative visits are also free, so, for us, it’s a system that works. Now, if my husband’s employer were to offer the total premium contribution up front as a cash payment, we might choose that, but currently it’s not a option.

      3. “but as someone who is “savvy enough to game the system” ”

        Then why are you doing exactly the opposite?

        Hint: you’re not gaming the system, you’re getting gamed by it

    2. It is not quite that simple. Dentistry is one of the few areas of medicine where they increased supply. So much so the dentists actually shut down dental schools back in the 1990s.

      Also, since dental care only deals with one area of the body, there is a bit of a limit as to how much new technology and expensive treatments you can develop. In addition, it is often not life or death. So people and companies can say no easier.

      1. “It is not quite that simple.”

        That’s why I wrote that the prevalence of private pay for dental services is “a” major reason, not “the” major reason.

        “there is a bit of a limit as to how much new technology and expensive treatments you can develop”

        I thought technology was supposed to reduce cost rather than increase them. That’s the way it works in every other industry, but I suppose it’s enough to argue that “health care” is different from every other human endeavor.

        1. technology can increase cost. A computer costs more than a manuel typewriter. Medicine costs more because it can do so much more. High colesteral used to just kill people for free. Now it costs thanks to the drugs developed to treat it.

          1. A computer costs more than a manuel typewriter.

            Not sure that’s really true anymore. Especially when you consider the cost of ink ribbons, and definitely when you consider that computers can be used for gazillions more tasks than typewriters.

            1. “Not sure that’s really true anymore. Especially when you consider the cost of ink ribbons,”

              It’s still true.

              “definitely when you consider that computers can be used for gazillions more tasks ”

              Which has exactly nothing to do with “cost”.

              I liked you a lot more when you were ashamed to show your face.

              Go back to that, so you don’t say stupid shit like you did here.

              1. You can get a new PC for cheaper then a new typewriter.

            2. Sure, the computer costs more than a typewriter, but the productivity improvement attendant to its introduction has reduced the cost of producing documents.

              The correlation between spending and life expectancy is very poor. However, I have to agree that the US is a leader in costs for medical technology that mitigates obesity-related conditions such as diabetes treatment, hip and knee joint surgery and replacement, and Medicare-funded mobility scooters. And the War on Drugs has greatly contributed to the $34 billion per year addiction treatment industry.

              1. mitigates obesity-related conditions such as diabetes treatment, hip and knee joint surgery and replacement,

                “Related” is right, but it leaves out causation’s vector. Insulin resistance (which is the essence of Type II diabetes) causes the weight gain.

          2. Well, that’s because Manuel Typewriter is an illegal immigrant from Mexico, here to take jobs away from hardworking Americans like John and Mary Typewriter.

            Seriously, though, I think the difference is between one of new goods and services vs. existing ones. Aluminum’s a good example: for a long time, nobody had aluminum anything. When it first became possible to refine aluminum, it was incredibly expensive. Over time, aluminum became cheap.

            More directly related to the medical field, I believe a number of analysts have pointed out that medical care is still pretty cheap…if you want 1940s-style medical care. But medicine seems to be one of the rare fields where people have an insatiable demand for the latest and greatest, price (almost) be damned.

            1. 1940s-style medical care is not cheap if you you break a bone or need sutures for a really bad cut. If you pay out of pocket, an ER visit is damned expensive.

  16. Fight Against Soda? What a great idea! We can start by taxing soda oppressively and, when that doesn’t work, make the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and use of soda illegal and impose criminal penalties upon those who violate the law. And we can then pass “constructive possession” laws that deem any person in a room with a soda can to be deemed in possession of it, as a means of strong-arming people into ratting out their friends! Then we can outlaw soda paraphernalia! And require that banks report deposits in excess of $100 because it may represent illegal soda profits! And apply civil forfeiture laws!

    Of course, we will face the difficult decision whether to expand the BATFE to become the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and Soda Pop, or create a separate Soda Pop Enforcement Agency (SPEA).

    Then we declare “war” on soda pop cartels, soda gangs, and soda dealers, establish “soda free zones” around schools, and send military forces around the world to save Sodastates from themselves. Ultimately we will be watching a cable TV show about a high school chemistry teacher and one of his burn-out students running a clandestine soda cooking operation in the New Mexico desert.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  17. I think it’s some sort of weird association between meth labs, prohibition era booze, and the later soft drink of the same name.

    People in rural Applalachia make meth, meth causes meth mouth. People in Appalachia used to make moonshine, which they called Mountain Dew. Therefore the soft drink must cause meth mouth.

  18. Sadly, we don’t do actual public health anymore. That mostly because we got good at it. But slowly we are forgetting and having things like bed bugs return. But the public health is now all about right thinking white people keeping the lower class whites and minorities in line.

  19. I had a coworker who would drink Mountain Dew by the 64 oz because he heard it decreased sperm count an he didn’t want his girlfriend to get pregnant.

    1. So, how is the happy father these days?

      1. Probably carrying around insulin and a glucometer.

  20. Why would it not surprise me that at some point in my life time marijuana will be less regulated than soda.

    1. It probably will be at some point, but then busy bodies will start clamoring about some illusory health issue that pot causes, at which point pot will once again become heavily regulated or possibly banned.

      I’m really excited for 30 years from now when the same progressives who are now pro-legalization start calling for the re-banning of pot for public health reasons.

      1. They will always be bitching about something. They can’t help themselves.

      2. You think it will take 30 years?

        Just wait until there is a gruesome automobile accident in Washington or Colorado, and legal marijuana is somewhere within 15 miles of the accident. The Prohibitionist crowd will immediately explode into a chorus of We Told You So and the backlash will begin.

  21. “George Orwell, after attending a meeting of impoverished but passive miners, remarked sadly that “there is no turbulence left in England.” The Democrats, and much of the Republican establishment, have made a bet that there is no turbulence left in America, and the citizenry will stand mute before Obamacare’s wrecking ball. Unless they’re willing to accept a worse life for their children and grandchildren, middle-class Americans need to prove them wrong.”

    -Mark Steyn
    September 27, 2013

    1. Steyn is right. If the middle class takes this sitting down, then they can expect the government to only rob them worse as time goes on.

      1. IMO, we are at the precipice. Our last chance to save it. If we fight, we might still have a chance to claw our way back to some semblance of liberty. If we fold now, it’s over.

  22. And remember, half of them will be going to bed hungry tonight with a can of Mt. Dew on the nightstand.

    1. Yeah. I always love that poor people in this country apparently can’t afford food and yet we must always worry about the gallons of soda they’re apparently drinking.

      Liberals see no contradiction between these two points.

      1. When poor people are not going hungry, they are obese. It is a pretty good trick to not to have enough to eat yet manage to be fat.

        1. It is a pretty good trick to not to have enough to eat yet manage to be fat.

          Obesity and starvation (what they term “subnutrition”) tend to run together. It’s something that has puzzled public health officials for a century.

  23. I live in Appalachia, Mountain Dew isn’t even that popular.

    Bad teeth aren’t that common either, except among the derelicts (who have bad teeth regardless of race or region). Poor dental hygiene definitely carried on longer here than it did in some other regions, but in people in my age group and slightly older (I’m 32) that trend apparently stopped. Again, except for the derelicts.

    This is just some more bullshit for busy bodies to pearl clutch over.

    1. I don’t live far from Appalachia. I have ridden my motorcycle all over parts of West Virginia and the Shenandoah. I have never noticed that people’s teeth were any worse than anywhere else. This is just New York and Washington assholes being assholes.

      1. Interestingly, it shows the power of advertising. When Dew was introduced, the commercials featured stereotypical “hillbillies” standing anxiously by a still waiting for their favorite drink to be “ready.” Pepsi was clearly playing off the image of moonshine, albeit In humorous manner, but it seems that the image has stuck, at least among East Coast and West Coast intellectuals.

        1. I am not old enough to remember when it came out. I have always thought of it as crappy soda that allegedly had a ton of caffeine.

          1. It’ll tickle yore innards!

        2. It’s weird, because when I think of a stereotypical mountain dew drinker it’s a chubby pale kid playing video games.

  24. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/176686/

    Thus, I was not entirely prepared for the new revelations about the Detroit trustees’ custom of handing out annual holiday “bonuses” to workers, retirees and the City of Detroit. Between 1985 and 2008, they handed out roughly $1 billion this way. Had they been invested, one estimate says those funds would be worth almost $2 billion today ? or more than half the current shortfall in the funds.


    1. How does handing money out of a retirement fund like that not run afoul of IRS regulations and fiduciary responsibility?

      Other than FYTW, of course.

  25. I think it does have something to do with the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Mountain Range starts in Maine, and having been to Maine, I believe the total tooth population of the state hovers around 275.

  26. Wasn’t “Mountain Dew” a euphemism for moonshine once? Let’s get the ATF involved. FYTW.

  27. It’s difficult to believe the Appalachia dwellers are taking away from their hefty meth and chewing tobacco budgets to purchase enough Mountain Dew to do much dental harm.

    But, if Nanny says, then it must be so.

    1. Thread winner.

  28. my roomate’s ex-wife makes .$67. every hour on the laptop. She has been fired for five months but last month her payment was .$13980. just working on the laptop for a few hours. check over here@@@@@….


  29. While people who drink Mountain Dew are statistically less likely to brush their teeth, that does not mean that Mountain Dew itself causes mouth diseases.

    1. No more than any other liquid source of sugar, true.
      The cause that is being avoided here is simple malnutrition. Sugar and white flour are devoid of nutrition. That’s why bread has things added. People don’t realize anymore that before the turn of the 20th century, most English and Americans ate so much meat and vegetables that they got what we would consider pharmaceutical-level doses of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients.

  30. “They often don’t have access to fluoridated tap water.”

    This is irrelevant.

    Also: Stop using “writ large” too much, everybody.

  31. Since no one else has said it yet:

    Fuck off, slavers.

  32. Start working at home with Google. It’s the most-financialy rewarding I’ve ever done. On tuesday I got a gorgeous BMW after having earned $7439 this last month. I actually started five months/ago and practically straight away was bringin in at least $74, per-hour. visit this site right here http://www.Pow6.com

  33. my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $74 hourly on the computer. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $14134 just working on the computer for a few hours. have a peek at this website….


  34. As someone suffering from “mountain dew mouth” I use the term as it’s the label that was chosen for my situation not because I was a mountain drinker.
    I was a coke drinker, hard core gamer. I would play as much a 50 hours a week, with a 2 liter of coke my constant companion. I did not understand that sipping through out the day as opposed to drinking a can in 30 min would have such devastating effects. I am now 45 and need all my teeth pulled. Do I feel soda should be taxed extra, or banned completely no. I do feel that education is key. Had I known the effects I would suffer I would not have taken this road.

  35. Since I grew up one of the impoverished, appalachian ‘clingers’,commenting by experience that dental care in appalchain regions is poor. People just didn’t brush their teeth or visit a dentist for various reasons, from lack of access to economic. No fluoridation really existed in water systems (one commonly has a well or spring for drinking water). Blaming soda on peoples disregard for personal care or habits just an easy out. My grandfather never drank soda. But yet his teeth were mainly done for by his early forties. So where’s the soda connection in that? Just another crusade by people who want to run other peoples lives.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.