Could You Lose a Tooth from Drinking Too Much Juice?
Posted on 12/7/2020 by Dr. Brandon Cooley
Fruit juices may seem like a healthier alternative than alcoholic beverages or carbonated sodas. However, fruit juices can be just as damaging as sodas due to the ingredients in juice. Patients who do not want to face long-term oral health complications should limit the amount of juice that they drink and modify their oral care routines to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Oral Health Hazards Associated with Juices
Most juices are acidic, lowering the mouth's pH level. Low pH balances in the mouth weaken tooth enamel and promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Also, the sugars in juices feed harmful bacteria, allowing them to spread and attack the teeth and gums. The damage is amplified when a patient brushes their teeth immediately after drinking juices or other acidic drinks; the bristles on toothbrushes will further erode tooth' enamel when the mouth's pH level is acidic. Consistent exposure to juices can lead to chipped teeth, cracked teeth, sensitivity to cold and heat, and tooth decay.
Countering the Effects of Excessive Juices
Brushing immediately after drinking juices can cause more harm than good, but brushing after the mouth's pH balance reaches neutral level is strongly advised. Rinsing with pH-neutral water or a basic solution can restore the mouth's pH balance more quickly. Eating a snack that promotes saliva generation – such as an apple or a stick of celery – can neutralize the acidic effects since saliva is basic. Patients should limit the number of juice beverages and other acidic drinks in their diet as well. Replacing fruit or vegetable juices with their corresponding foods – such as eating an orange instead of drinking orange juice – is a positive substitution.
Believing that juices are healthy beverages is a dangerous misconception. When they're consumed indulgently, the damage they can cause to teeth and gums is significant. Our team of professionals can recommend a mouth-friendly diet. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.