How Does Phosphoric Acid Affect Your Teeth?

How Does Phosphoric Acid Affect Your Teeth

Although sugar is famous as an enemy of dental health, another food active ingredient could also be damaging your teeth: phosphoric acid.

Found in carbonated soda beverages, phosphoric acid is the second most plentiful food additive in the food industry, inning accordance with Understanding Food Additives. Due to its high acidity level, phosphoric acid might erode enamel and make your teeth more vulnerable to decay.

Phosphoric acid is the chemical found in sodas. It’s actually the second most added chemical in the food market. We know sugar is bad for you and we’ve heard the research studies about how soda is unhealthy as well … but how does phosphoric acid truly impact your teeth?

How Does Phosphoric Acid Affect Your Teeth?

True to its name, phosphoric acid is a type of flavor-enhancing acid used to include a “bite” to drinks; it harms teeth primarily due to its low pH. According to Dr. Dan Peterson at Household Gentle Dental Care, soda with phosphoric acid has pH levels varying from 2.47 to 3.35, in contrast to the neutral pH of 7.0 discovered in distilled water and a pH of 6.7 to 7.0 in the human mouth.


When low-pH foods with phosphoric acid reach your teeth, your enamel begins to dissolve and soften, paving the path to decay. Softened tooth enamel can promote plaque formation, which then leads to more enamel disintegration. If damage from phosphoric acid becomes severe, disintegration may spread out under your enamel and into the layer of dentin listed below, causing level of sensitivity and toothaches. At this moment, root canal surgery might end up being essential.

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You can lower the effect of phosphoric acid on your teeth by changing the method you consume soda and other foods with this component. Dental professional Dan Peterson suggests drinking soda through a straw to lessen contact with your teeth, rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda, limiting your soda consumption to one serving each day, and drinking phosphoric acid-containing drinks just at mealtime. In addition, drinking soda quickly rather than drinking it gradually can lower the exposure phosphoric acid has with your teeth.

Is Phosphoric Acid Bad for You?

Although you can take steps to protect your teeth from phosphoric acid in drinks, you may want to avoid such drinks for other factors. As dentist Mitchel Pohl describes, sodas typically include additive dye, caffeine and big amounts of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides empty calories without any nutrition. Even sugar-free sodas might be slightly addictive if they contain caffeine. Sodas may be connected to kidney stones, other types of kidney disease, hypertension, excess weight gain in the belly and insulin resistance. Choosing drinks without phosphoric acid, such as milk or fruit juice, can help you prevent damage from soda while likewise obtaining more minerals and vitamins.

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Foods With Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid, a typical food additive, has actually been related to decreased bone mineral density. A colorless, odor-free substance, it is used in fertilizers and detergents as well as foods and drinks. Its function in the food market is to give a sharp taste to food or to act as a preservative.

Soft Drinks

The most commonly taken in source of phosphoric acid is soft drinks. Phosphoric acid is accountable for the characteristic biting taste associated with colas. Clear sodas contain citric acid rather of the phosphoric acid found in sodas. In addition to colas, numerous sports beverages, bottled teas, punches and fruit-flavored drinks include phosphoric acid. A research study published in 2006 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” discovered that colas, but not other carbonated drinks, are connected with lower bone mineral density in women, suggesting that the phosphoric acid may have a negative result on bone health.

Dairy Products

The salts of phosphoric acid are used in numerous dairy products to customize the proteins and alter the pH to produce a higher-quality item. The addition of phosphates originated from phosphoric acid to cheese lead to smooth, shelf-stable products. Phosphoric acid or phosphates can likewise be discovered in milk, buttermilk, home cheese and nondairy coffee creamers.

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Baking Soda

Phosphoric acid salts are combined with baking soda to produce baking powder, a leavening agent found in lots of baked items. Baked items that are leavened with baking powder instead of yeast will likely include phosphates; these will remain in the component list on the food package.

Processed Foods

Other processed foods that may include phosphoric acid consist of breakfast or cereal bars, flavored waters, bottled coffee drinks and processed meats. Numerous fresh meat and poultry products are enhanced with salt services to increase their wetness and flavor. These services likewise contain phosphoric acid or phosphate salts. Check out component lists on food bundles to determine phosphorus-containing food additives, such as dicalcium phosphate, hexametaphosphate, sodium phosphate and tricalcium phosphate.

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