There are 3 main ways that Acidity in our mouths causes us harm: it Converts our Oral Biofilm to Acid loving bacteria, it Causes Tooth Erosion and Tooth Decay, and it Increases our risk of some Cancers.
All of us have a layer of Bacteria coating our mouths called a Biofilm. When we are healthy this Biofilm has a neutral pH ( not Acidic and not Alkaline ). If our mouths are exposed to Acid on a regular and ongoing basis the Biofilm changes to predominantly Acid Tolerant Bacteria which themselves produce more Acid adding to the problem. An Acidic Biofilm is an Unhealthy Biofilm. A Highly Acidic Biofilm allows the types of Bacteria that are known to cause Tooth Decay to survive and proliferate increasing the risk of Tooth Decay.
Frequent exposure to Acid from any source causes the Erosion of our tooth structure ultimately allowing the tooth enamel and exposed root surfaces to dissolve away.
Acidity that comes from our own digestive tract, called Acid Reflux, damages the tissue of our mouth and throat and is believed to be the primary cause of esophageal and laryngeal cancers. The tissue that lines our stomach is able to withstand the high Acidity of digestive fluids but when those fluids continually contact other tissues in our esophagus and throat malignant changes can occur. It is also believed that the enzymes in digestive fluids that enter into our esophagus and throat along with the Acid are activated when we eat or drink Acidic foods or beverages causing a digestive process on our own body. It’s a double whammy!
As scary as this all sounds there are ways to combat these problems. Stayed tuned for Part lll