A man claims the shocking damage to his teeth was caused by his crippling energy drink addiction, which saw him consuming six Monster Energy drinks every day.
Vinnie Pyner, 21, got hooked on cans of green Monster Energy to help him stay awake for his college studies, he said.
Soon he was downing them at breakfast, lunch and dinner – and was eventually drinking six cans every day.
Despite brushing his teeth twice a day, he started getting tooth pain and eventually he bit into an apple and his front four teeth “snapped.”
After guzzling around 45 cans a week for seven months, he went cold turkey but was too embarrassed to go back to college.
His dentist discovered every tooth in his mouth had rotted, he claims, and Pyner is now set to get 24 fillings and dentures for his front teeth.
Mortified Pyner, from Margate in southeast England, is speaking out to warn others about excessive energy drink consumption.
“It started as a way to relieve the stress and pressure from my college course because you have to be focused when it comes to computing and coding,” he said.
“But I never thought that it would get this bad, it’s affected my confidence dramatically. I had an ambition to become a games designer but now my hopes have been dashed.
“The dentist was extremely shocked to see my teeth and she said that it was one of the worst cases of tooth decay and damage that she had ever seen.
He says his addiction to Monster Energy has “completely ruined my life.”
“I couldn’t attend college like this so I had to leave because I couldn’t bear the embarrassment. I am not sure what the future holds, but I hope that I can get back on my feet.”
Pyner says he started drinking Monster Energy shortly before starting his second year studying BTEC computing and coding at East Kent College in September 2017.
“It started with three a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I could stay focused during my studies,” he said.
“I often felt tired and needed the energy drinks desperately.”
Several weeks into the new term in October 2017, Pyner started buying multipacks, which increased his intake and dependence.
“It was value for money and much cheaper than to buy individual cans. But the temptation of having a pack of four and wanting to drink them all at once got hold of me through the caffeine within them.
“It was like I had to fuel this addiction regularly and if I didn’t, I would suffer from caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as severe headaches and muscle pain.”
At this point, Pyner’s mom, Tara, started raising concerns.
“I started seeing him coming home regularly with multipacks which were the early signs of addiction,” the 46-year-old mom of one said.
“I noticed the habitat getting worse and worse as his bedroom bins were always full of the cans. But I never thought that it would get this bad.”
By Christmas 2017, Pyner’s addiction started to take control and he was having another two cans in between college classes, taking his total to six a day.
As a result, he started suffering from tooth pain every time he ate.
“Every time I bit down on an item of food, it was very painful, so it was always a nightmare every time I had something to eat,” Pyner said.
“I was starting to realize at this point that my addiction to Monster drinks was getting much worse. I never thought to tell anyone, I just coped with the pain.”
In March 2018, he heard a cracking sound after biting down on an apple.
“I didn’t think much about it until I swallowed something hard before realizing that my upper four teeth had broken off. I was shocked and at the same time very worried, the damage looked absolutely awful.
“I couldn’t tell my mom because it was so worried about what she might have said and extremely embarrassed about what she had said. So I was trying not opening my mouth too wide when I was near mom.”
But his mother got suspicious after several days and asked him to show her his teeth.
“It was absolutely shocking. His upper four incisor teeth had completely fallen off and you could see his gum line, it was horrible,” she said.
“Incisors are often the first adult teeth that grow and make up most of our smile, so his smile was completely ruined.”
Pyner then immediately sought dental treatment.
Dentists found that all of Pyner’s teeth had rotted and he was told he would have to have 24 fillings and a pair of dentures fitted for the front four teeth.
His confidence plummeted and he dropped out of college. He now spends all his time at home and rarely goes out at all.
“I can’t do much at all, let alone think about my future,” Pyner said.
“I can’t apply for any jobs because interviewers will take one look at my teeth and say no straightaway. The smile is the first thing you see in a job interview.”
He started dental treatment in September and hopes to return to college and get a job soon. In the meantime, he is warning people to avoid energy drinks.
“Stay away from them, they are completely damaging and they could ruin your life.”
Monster Energy Drinks has been approached for comment.