A healthy lifestyle not only means eating well, but also exercising regularly and replacing your soft drinks with water or tea -- and perhaps a wedge of lemon for taste. But unfortunately, lemons can create a sour experience for your teeth.
Drinking lemon juice can put you at risk for tooth erosion, a condition where the thin, protective layer of enamel slowly wears away from your teeth. Lemon juice contains acid, which irritates gums and softens tooth enamel.
Frequent consumption of products that contain acid will eventually destroy the enamel and expose underlying dentin, leaving your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity and tooth decay. In fact, enamel erosion is one of the most common causes of cavities and tooth loss.
The Bad Seed
With a high acid content, lemon juice is one of the most erosive materials you can consume. But lemons aren't the only bad apples! Any acidic food or drink can contribute to enamel dental erosion, and you should be aware of how much acid you're consuming on a daily basis. Some of the foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion include:
- Other fruit juices: orange, apple and grapefruit juice
- Fruits and vegetables: citrus, tomatoes and pickles
- White wine
- Sports drinks
Those who suffer from bulimia or acid reflux disease also have a high potential of developing dental erosion. The stomach acid used to digest food is strong enough to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. Frequent vomiting puts your teeth in regular contact with stomach acid, and puts you at risk for dental erosion. Heartburn, belching or a sour taste in your mouth are also signs that stomach acid may be escaping into your oral cavity. If you suffer from bulimia, get help. Stomach acid is powerful enough to destroy your teeth, and your condition can lead to a plethora of other physical problems.