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25-Year-Old Man Gets Dentures and Blood Poisoning After Drinking Too Much Soda

Update Date: Feb 05, 2013 03:31 PM EST

Soda tastes great, but drinking too much of it can lead all sorts of problems like depression, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or blood poisoning and severe tooth decay and a 25-year-old Australian man with dentures is a classic case in point.

William Kennewell of Salisbury never bothered with water. Instead he would gulp down one-and-a-half to two gallons of cola a day for three years, he told the Adelaide Advertiser.

Kennewell's soda habit quickly turned into an addiction that he just could not kick. He continued to ignore warnings from his dentist that his teeth were beginning to rot, and eventually his tooth decay had become so bad that it led to blood poisoning and the removal of all his teeth.  Now all he has left is a pair of dentures.

"I'm told a normal person has about 23 teeth, but ... I only had 13 left and they had to be removed," Kennewell said, according to Adelaide Advertiser.

"It started because I wasn't a huge water fan and working in the hotel industry, I had easy access to Coke," he said. "Because my teeth were decaying so badly, it caused blood poisoning which just made me sick, but my health improved with the dentures."

The 25-year-old is now a poster boy for Australian health researchers who are calling for warnings on soft drink labels to include the risks of tooth decay. Kennewell agreed with the idea, but he said he wasn't sure how effective the soda labels would be.

In a recent study of 16,800 Australian children, researchers found that 56 percent of kids between the ages of five and 15 drink at least one sweet drink a day.

However, soda industry representatives were dismissive, and called the proposed health labels a "misguided approach".

"Singling out one particular part of the diet is a misguided approach to dealing with an issue such as dental hygiene," said chief executive of Australian Beverages Council Geoff Parker said, according to the Australian newspaper. 

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