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Old 06-14-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
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Citrus acid fruits bad or good for the teeth?

Hi again, Does all citrus acid fruits like lemons bad for the teeth and damage tooth enamel?

I found contradictions on the web about citrus acid. 1 source saying its good for teeth, gums and great for teeth animal while another says the opposite, that its bad for the teeth, makes it rot or damages tooth enamel so I came here to find out the truth about this, if anyone knows.

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Old 06-14-2019, 06:40 PM   #2
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Acid is bad for the teeth ( enamel) . Citrus being higher in acid than many other fruits would make it more likely to damage the teeth. It happens over a long period of time, not just from eating one orange. Could take months or longer to show signs of damage. If the enamel wears away, the second layer of the tooth is exposed which could make the tooth more susceptible to cavities, more sensitive to temperature ( usually cold). and thinner making the edges more likely to fracture under normal circumstances.

Everyone blames sugar, but its the acid produced by the bacteria that does the tooth damage.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:45 PM   #3
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Highly acidic foods could cause the gums to become red and irritated, and occasionally the outer layer could turn white and actually peel off. Sometimes people with toothaches will put an aspirin on the gum next to the tooth, hoping it will relieve the pain. Aspirin is an acid. Usually after doing this, the tissue where the aspirin was touching actually becomes necrotic and peels off ( basically dies).

In most cases, after eating just about anything, as long as you clean your teeth ( brush and floss ) little or no damage will be done. Some people are more prone to cavities than others ( could be a genetic or anatomical thing).

Sticky foods ( not just candy, but dried fruits and things like that) cause damage cause they adhere too the tooth and are more difficult to clean off , therefore holding the bacteria against the tooth, feeding it with its sugar and producing the acid to do damage.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:47 PM   #4
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Another example of how acid affects tooth is people who have GERD or other reflux issues ( bulimia also). The acid from the stomach comes up and damages usually the surfaces behind the front teeth. Wearing away all the enamel, making the teeth thin and brittle ( and often sensitive).
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:53 PM   #5
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https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-t...and-your-teeth
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the great info, Larry. If we weren't on opposite sides of the country, I'd think you were my dentist. He says the same thing.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:24 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the great info, Larry. If we weren't on opposite sides of the country, I'd think you were my dentist. He says the same thing.
Thats reassuring

So many crappy websites out there giving bogus info ( on everything).
File this one under you can't believe everything you read.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:30 PM   #8
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You're a dentist, aren't you Larry?

Is there any truth to the belief that small amounts of worn off enamel can be replaced with proper diet and non-acidic environment in the mouth?
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:41 PM   #9
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Yes I am, and yes and no.

Very very small amounts can potentially remineralize , so the enamel has to be there, but it can technically become more dense and stronger ( which can sometimes be detected on an X-ray) . As far as gowing or forming enamel in an area where the enamel has worn away, to my knowledge thats not possible.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:52 PM   #10
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Thanks Larry.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:10 PM   #11
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Any time !
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Yes I am, and yes and no.

Very very small amounts can potentially remineralize , so the enamel has to be there, but it can technically become more dense and stronger ( which can sometimes be detected on an X-ray) . As far as gowing or forming enamel in an area where the enamel has worn away, to my knowledge thats not possible.
I don't think people should eliminate citrus from their diet. It seems like regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste should balance out the effects of citric acid. Would you agree? Do the benefits of citrus fruits in your diet outweigh the potential downside?

From what I understand, many soft drinks do more damage to teeth than an orange. But, you are the dentist. What do you think about that? I drink a lot of orange juice, and sometimes grapefruit juice. I avoid soft drinks, with the exception of an occasional Dr. Pepper -- or and IBC Cream Soda. They are a treat, not a daily drink. I haven't had a cavity since the 1970s.

Of course, eight of my front teeth have veneers, thanks to tetracycline damage -- given to me when my teeth were developing.

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Old 06-14-2019, 10:40 PM   #13
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My argument with the folks who make toothpaste is when their ads state that the product can replace your enamel if it has gone bye bye. I have had three dentists tell me over the years that once the enamel is gone, it is GONE! Your body can not rebuild it. You can have your teeth capped and/or pulled, but you can not regrow your enamel.

You can stop the damage to your enamel with proper brushing and using a flouride toothpaste and then flossing. Brushing does not get everything out between the teeth. I know a lot of folks who carry floss with them all the time. Scott was one. He always took care of his teeth.

Unfortunately, I took him to a pediatric dentist who I swear didn't like kids. One visit was enough for him. As a result, he made sure he took care of his teeth and always flossed if he ate anything when away from home. And he always brushed after every meal. He wasn't interested in having a Hollywood pure white smile. He just wanted to keep all of his teeth. And he did.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I don't think people should eliminate citrus from their diet. It seems like regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste should balance out the effects of citric acid. Would you agree? Do the benefits of citrus fruits in your diet outweigh the potential downside?

From what I understand, many soft drinks do more damage to teeth than an orange. But, you are the dentist. What do you think about that? I drink a lot of orange juice, and sometimes grapefruit juice. I avoid soft drinks, with the exception of an occasional Dr. Pepper -- or and IBC Cream Soda. They are a treat, not a daily drink. I haven't had a cavity since the 1970s.

Of course, eight of my front teeth have veneers, thanks to tetracycline damage -- given to me when my teeth were developing.

CD
Im definitely not suggesting eliminating citrus from ones diet. My main point was to show the OP that its definitely not healthy for the teeth.

As I mentioned , it takes time for the acids to do their damage. Its not going to happen over night, so taking constant care would eliminate or extremely reduce any risks the acids may cause. Also, Almost everything we eat is acidic . Sure Citrus is among the top of the list, but other fruits , veggies and foods will also cause damages over time, which is why constant home care is key.

And yes, soft drinks and sports drinks ( which are listed in the link I posted) fall into the same category as citrus and are often more damaging to the teeth. They are more commonly used,

This is also why going for a checkup regularly ( every 6 months) is ideal. Not so we can pocket your money, but finding something small in 6 months is better than finding something large, expensive and possibly unfixable in a year or two. Many of the cavities are not visible from the naked eye , as they are in-between the teeth and can only be detected with dental radiographs).

I think I also mentioned that everyones genetic make up is different and some people are more cavity prone than others due to enamel make up differences and anatomical ( dental anataomy, some people have more and deeper grooves than others ) differences.

Another note is in most cases, a dental X-ray cant shoot through the dental restorations ) crowns, fillings ... So its always possible there is stuff going on that we just cant detect until it has already done significant damage.

Hope this info helps
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
My argument with the folks who make toothpaste is when their ads state that the product can replace your enamel if it has gone bye bye. I have had three dentists tell me over the years that once the enamel is gone, it is GONE! Your body can not rebuild it. You can have your teeth capped and/or pulled, but you can not regrow your enamel.

You can stop the damage to your enamel with proper brushing and using a flouride toothpaste and then flossing. Brushing does not get everything out between the teeth. I know a lot of folks who carry floss with them all the time. Scott was one. He always took care of his teeth.

Unfortunately, I took him to a pediatric dentist who I swear didn't like kids. One visit was enough for him. As a result, he made sure he took care of his teeth and always flossed if he ate anything when away from home. And he always brushed after every meal. He wasn't interested in having a Hollywood pure white smile. He just wanted to keep all of his teeth. And he did.
The only thing those dental products can potentially do, is remineralize enamel that is starting to demineralize . So it can make it stronger ( kind of ), but its not going to grow more enamel, therefore, as you said, when you're enamel is gone, its gone. And this can happen from cavities, along with grinding your teeth or fracturing your teeth. So what your dentist's have told you over the years is correct
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:11 AM   #16
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Thanks Larry. I guess I am one of the lucky ones, as far as teeth go. I'm not the most disciplined when it comes to dental care, yet I have all my teeth at 58. Maybe it is genetic. My dad still has all his teeth at 87.

Like most things, it sounds like common sense is in order. Citrus fruits are good for us, and at the same time, bad for us. One shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. On the other hand, sugary soft drinks are just bad for us, but okay as the occasional treat.

Thanks again for your expert advice.

CD
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:58 AM   #17
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Thanks Larry. I guess I am one of the lucky ones, as far as teeth go. I'm not the most disciplined when it comes to dental care, yet I have all my teeth at 58. Maybe it is genetic. My dad still has all his teeth at 87.

Like most things, it sounds like common sense is in order. Citrus fruits are good for us, and at the same time, bad for us. One shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. On the other hand, sugary soft drinks are just bad for us, but okay as the occasional treat.

Thanks again for your expert advice.

CD
Any time !

I love citrus fruits and juice and have them regularly
Soft drinks on occasion
candy, rarely ( not for dental reason, Im just not crazy about it)

Another problem food is nuts and popcorn.
Id say 90% of tooth fractures that I see ( on a healthy tooth, not one that is all decayed and weak) are the results of eating almonds and the occasional misfortune of chomping down on a popcorn kernel.
Not too much defense against that other than avoiding them totally. But no one is expected to eat baby food and drink water all their lives, just gotta use the common sense you mentioned to reduce the risks as much as possible.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:33 PM   #18
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Hey Larry, if you ever get down here to the South, order a big glass of sweet tea. That will make you want to brush your teeth.

One gallon of hot tea. One full cup of sugar.

Pour over ice.

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Old 06-15-2019, 11:50 PM   #19
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That sweet tea sounds even worse than I imagined. *shudder* I don't use sugar in my tea or coffee.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:22 AM   #20
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That sweet tea sounds even worse than I imagined. *shudder* I don't use sugar in my tea or coffee.
It is actually good on a hot day. But, I can't drink it, or I'll be bouncing off the walls. That much sugar on top of caffeine will have me up for two days.
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