If your diet meets the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C then you probably do not need to take ascorbic acid, or vitamin C supplements. If you take medications that inhibit the absorption of ascorbic acid or if you have certain health conditions, your ascorbic acid levels may become depleted.
In these instances, your health care provider may recommend that you take a vitamin C or ascorbic acid supplement. While ascorbic acid is essential to your health, taking large doses may have negative effects of your oral health. Here are three ways ascorbic acid can hurt your teeth and gums and what you can do about them:
Tooth Enamel Damage
Ascorbic acid supplements are very acidic, and because of this it can raise your risk for acid erosion of your dental enamel. Strong tooth enamel helps prevent infection-causing bacteria from gaining access to your teeth roots and pulp. When your dental enamel wears away as a result of enamel erosion, microorganisms can enter your teeth.
If you take supplemental ascorbic acid, see your dental professional to determine if your tooth enamel is strong. If he or she determines that you have enamel erosion from acid exposure, try brushing your teeth with an enamel-protective toothpaste to help prevent further damage.
Problems With Taste And Smell
Too much ascorbic acid can indirectly cause taste or smell abnormalities because it can cause acid reflux disease, which can cause abnormal taste and smell perceptions. If you experience this, decrease your dosage of ascorbic acid to see if this helps. If not, make an appointment with your physician. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of smell and taste disorders.
Too much ascorbic acid can also raise your risk for bleeding gums because it can irritate delicate gingival tissue. Not only can ascorbic acid supplements cause bleeding gums, they can also lead to redness, inflammation, soreness, and burning of your gums.
As stated above, ascorbic acid can cause acid reflux disease, which causes irritating stomach acid to travel upward into your esophagus. In some cases, stomach acid can come into contact with your gums and teeth, and if this occurs then your gums might bleed.
If you develop bleeding gums from acid reflux disease, take an over-the-counter antacid to help neutralize stomach acid. If bleeding gums persist, see your dentist to rule out periodontitis, infections, or gum retraction.
If you take ascorbic acid and develop any of the above conditions, make an appointment with your dentist. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely you will be to develop an infection, enamel acid erosion, smell or taste abnormalities, or bleeding gums. Dental clinics like Professional Dental Center can offer more information.