Acid erosion can dissolve tooth enamel and lead to cavities. The erosion is caused by exposure of the teeth to acid.
Acid exposure causes:
- Enamel to wear
- Weakened grooves and pits causing cavities
- Leaking around the edges of sealants
- Wear on composite (tooth-colored) fillings so the may require replacing
- Fruit drinks, juices, and foods containing high acid levels:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Sunny Delight
- Lemons and limes
- Apple juice
- Fruit roll-ups
- Grape juice
Pop: Contains phosphoric acid to make it fizzy. Even diet pop has this acid. Sprite, for example, doesn’t have caffeine, but it does have sugar and acid. Limit pop to once a week and special occasions.
Sports Drinks: Read labels, because most sports drinks contain acid and sugars. Gatorade and “flavored” water drinks often have added sugar and acid.
Sweet Coffee Drinks: Many coffee drinks available today contain high amounts of sugar.
Candy: Suckers, Jolly Ranchers, Taffy, caramels, Starbursts, and Tootsie Rolls are all high in sugars.
Health Concerns with Acid Reflux
Gastric Reflux: Some adults and children experience gastric reflux (stomach acid) which brings acid into the mouth. Your medical doctor or your child’s physician would be the person to diagnose and treat any reflux.
Symptoms of gastric reflux include:
- Burping, especially after meals
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Sore, burning throat, especially in the morning
- Heartburn or chest pain
- Overfilled stomach due to consumption of large meals
- Accompanying asthma
Dry Mouth: Dry mouth can be caused by many medications, antihistamines, allergy medicines, psychiatric drugs, snoring, and mouth breathing.
Cigarette Smoking: Children who live in homes where there is cigarette smoke grow more cavities because the smoke weakens their immune system and reduces their resistance to the bacteria that cause cavities.