Acidic foods and oral health

Torbram Dental weighs in on the potential oral health issues caused by acidic foods and beverages. (Source: Oral Health Foundation, June 10, 2019,

When you hear the term ‘ acid,’ the first thing that might come into your mind would be the bottles full of chemicals in your chemistry class or the ones you saw in a TV show. The fact is that certain food acids can cause indigestion and heartburn, which is known to many. However, not many people know about its role in your oral health.

Most foods and drinks that you consume every day have low acidity. However, some foods with high enough acid content cause a problem. These drinks and foods can lead to issues with your enamel and dental erosion. Explaining the effect acid has on your mouth, Torbram Dental says, “Acid weakens your teeth’s enamel, leaving them susceptible to damage. When you eat acidic foods, the enamel becomes softer for a while and loses some mineral content. Your saliva cancels this acidity out slowly and returns the mouth to its natural balance. But, if this happens frequently, your mouth won’t have the chance to recover, resulting in you losing your enamel.”

Enamel is your tooth’s coating protecting the sensitive dentine present underneath. If it is worn away, it exposes the dentine leading to sensitivity and pain, and ultimately a much-needed dental cleaning procedure. According to Torbram Dental, “The most common acids found in drinks and foods are citric acids, phosphoric acids, and carbonic acids.”

The most common sign of an acidic drink is its fizziness. This includes any type of fizzy drinks, including carbonated drinks, pops, and sodas. Even if you are drinking the ‘diet’ version, it can be harmful. Torbram Dental highlights that some alcohol can be acidic as well. Some alcoholic beverages include beer, white wine, alcopops, and prosecco; these items can be highly erosive for your teeth. The best way to avoid the damage these fizzy drinks can cause is by limiting your exposure and scheduling regular teeth cleaning.

There are certain fruits with enough citric acid to encourage dental erosion. Citrus fruits have to be the worst offenders. This includes limes, lemons, grapes, blueberries, plums, and grapefruits. Apart from these, tomatoes, oranges, peaches, and pineapples are high in acid as well. Now, you can’t remove these fruits from your diet altogether. However, Torbram Dental recommends that you consume fruits only during mealtimes. It would give your body the required amount of daily portions without putting any unnecessary strain on your teeth. They further added that you should not consume fruits in the form of juice as most packaged juices have a high sugar content, which is not suitable for your oral health.

If you have sensitive teeth, it might be a sign of dental erosion. If this happens, Torbram Dental suggests that you visit your dentist immediately to figure out the cause of this sensitivity. To avoid an emergency dentist visit in the first place, you need to prevent enamel erosion. Instead of giving up on acidic foods, what you can do is limit consumption. As per the experts at Torbram Dental, “This includes never sucking on highly acidic fruits, using a straw while drinking juices, rinsing your mouth after eating, and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.” With these simple yet effective tricks, you will be able to protect your enamel and maintain a healthy smile.

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