Hughes’ Views Dr. Michael Hughes’ Dental Blog

“Acid Erosion” Part l

Acid Erosion

There are 3 primary ways that Acid enters into our mouths and has the potential to cause us harm: Acid Reflux, Acidic Beverages, and Acidic Foods.

  • Acid Reflux is our biggest problem and concern. Everyone is aware of Bulemia and I am not including it in this discussion as it is somewhat rare and well understood. ‘Acid Reflux’ refers to any situation that allows the digestive juices in our stomach to pass out of the stomach into the esophagus, larynx, pharynx and oral cavity. This can be the fluid itself or an aerosolized component of the digestive juices. Now this is very Important because Reflux has been shown to occur in almost 50% of our population in all age groups! Moreover, half of these people with ‘Acid Reflux’ are unaware that they have ‘Acid Reflux’. This is called Silent Reflux.
  • Acidic Beverages are the second most troublesome issue we face because of the increased popularity of sodas, energy drinks, and acidic juices many of which are almost as Acidic as our own digestive juices. It may be hard to believe but our current love of bottled water is also a big problem. While public water supplies are generally not acidic about half of the bottled waters we drink are almost as acidic as sodas and energy drinks. This is a by product of the purifying process that removes the chlorine taste. Get to know the pH of your water and try to only drink water with a pH higher than 6.0. The internet will help you to know.
  • Acidic Food is generally not as big of a problem for our teeth as represented in adds and commercials for dental products. However the amount of food that is Acidic today is much higher than in the past because the FDA has mandated that all packaged foods must be made acidic in order to diminish bacterial contamination. Note that frequent eating of acidic foods will lower the pH in our mouth ( acidify ) but our saliva has the capacity to neutralize it over time. The bigger issue may be that with all of the acidic food and beverages that we are consuming our capacity to neutralize it is being compromised and may be to blame for the increase of Acid Reflux in the past couple of decades.

Stay tuned for Part ll : The 3 ways High Acidity harms us.


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