We all know they’re bad for us. But most of us indulge in sugary soft drinks at least occasionally. All things in moderation, right?

Well, a recent study published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations may give us one more good reason to cut back on (or even eliminate) soda consumption.

Drawing on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, the study has found that sugar-sweetened acidic drinks, such as soft drinks, are the common factor between obesity and tooth wear among adults.

Scientists from King's College in London found that being overweight or obese was clearly associated with having tooth wear. Even more important, they also found that the increased consumption of sugary soft drinks may be a leading cause of the erosion of tooth enamel and dentin in obese patients.

Patient body mass index (BMI) and the degree of tooth wear were the exposure and outcome measurements in the study. The consumption of sugar-sweetened acidic drinks was recorded through two non-consecutive, 24-hour recall interviews where the participants were asked to provide details of everything they ate and drank across these two days.

"It is the acidic nature of some drinks such as carbonated drinks and acidic fruit juices that leads to tooth wear," said lead author Dr. Saoirse O'Toole from King's College London.

The erosion of tooth enamel is ranked as the third most important dental condition, just after cavities and gum disease, and the consumption of acidic foods and drinks is a leading cause of this tooth wear.

"This is an important message for obese patients who are consuming calories through acidic sugar-sweetened drinks," added Dr. O’Toole. "These drinks may be doing damage to their body and their teeth. There is also an important message for dentists. We should be asking our patients who are obese and have tooth wear what calories they are drinking as this may be having an effect on their full bodies — not just their teeth."

Tooth wear is preventable and changes to consumption habits can help stop people from experiencing it or making it worse.