In a recent 20/20 report on the life of residents in eastern Kentucky, ABC's Diane Sawyer suggested the soft drink Mountain Dew was the cause of the poor dental health of the area's inhabitants.
The report, which was the culmination of two years of investigative reporting on Sawyer's part, focused on various aspects of life in the Appalachian Mountains from alcoholism to closed coal mines.
In regards to tooth decay, Sawyer pointed to the popularity and high consumption of Mountain Dew as a possible cause, as well as the lack of dental insurance coverage among the residents.
The reporter spoke to Dr Edwin Smith, a dentist who services the mountain residents, and told Sawyer Mountain Dew was a particularly harmful drink because of its high acid and sugar.
In response to the report, Pepsi, who manufactures Mountain Dew, sent ABC a statement saying "Our products, consumed in moderation, can be part of a healthy, balanced diet."
People who drink large quantities of soda and do not administer regular dental care can increase their risk of cavities and tooth decay. If left untreated, an unhealthy mouth can lead to other conditions such as heart disease.
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