Citric Acid Destroys Teeth, Not Sugar

All throughout our lives we’ve been told that sugar causes cavities. Apparently, when we eat sugar, it reacts with our saliva to produce an acid which then corrodes the tooth enamel. I believe this is BS for two reasons. One, my tongue and mind tell me that sweets are delicious and should be eaten. It doesn’t make sense that the body is committing self-sabotage, and there is no precedent of such. Sure, consuming copious amounts of sugar would backfire in today’s world, where calories are no longer a scarcity but an excess. Two, Occam’s razor: why is it that the acid that corrodes our teeth the product of a series of chemical reactions rather than the acids we put directly into our mouths? The most commonly consumed acids are citric, malic, tartaric, and ascorbic acid. I believe these are the real cause of cavities.

Society and/or scientists say that acid consumption is safe for three reasons: one, acids can naturally be found in just about all fruits, citrus especially. This is the old “it’s natural so it can’t be wrong” argument and it is just not true. There are many naturally-occurring things that are dangerous, like seeds with cyanide, poisonous berries, black widow spiders, etc. Two, our stomachs produce gastric acid, and this is way more corrosive than citric acid, so how can eating citric acid be harmful? While this is true, that acid exists down in the stomach—not the mouth or esophagus! Gastric acid only leaves the stomach when acid reflux occurs, and boy does it hurt! The third reason is that the amount of citric acid in our food is so miniscule that its effects on tooth enamel are negligible. Okay, but what if these small amounts were to be consumed at high frequency over a lifetime?

Before you say that I’m wrong and sugar is the cause of cavities because, one time, when you were a kid, you got a cavity a few days after going on a massive candy binge, you should know two things: firstly, new studies are saying that citric acid does soften the tooth enamel; scientists are finally realizing the harm in consuming acids. Secondly, sugar has been paired with citric, malic, tartaric, and ascorbic acid for a long time; this combo is in just about every soft drink, jam, and candy in stores today. Manufacturers use citric, malic, tartaric, or ascorbic acid as a preservative and for sour flavor. I dare you to find a candy besides chocolate that doesn’t contain citric, malic, tartaric, or ascorbic acid in it. You won’t find it! My guess is that companies recognize the current trend to eat fruits in their natural, raw, unprocessed form, which is slightly sour most of the time. Thus, they pour citric acid in soft drinks and fruit candies to emulate this “tart”/“tangy” taste and then advertise their products as tasting just like real, fresh, non-processed fruit. Wild berry!

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I’m disgusted by modern society for leading me to believe that citric acid is safe and putting it in everything I eat. People should avoid putting acids in their mouth, period. It was years ago that I made that conclusion and began a new, enlightened lifestyle free of sour foods. It wasn’t long before I found society influencing my thoughts again: I would drool at the sight of sour Warheads and sour gummy worms. That means I really want it… right? Today I know better. Salivation has nothing to do with tastiness. This is purely a cultural myth. In actuality, salivation is a preparatory response to the acid about to penetrate through layers of your tongue and teeth. Well never again, citric acid!

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© Buism 2015