The Electric Commentary

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Sourtooth Problem

When I eat something especially sour or abrasive, my teeth hurt for a week. Does this happen to other people?

The best example is "Sweet Tarts." Whenever I eat them my molars are in agony for the rest of the week. I can't eat chips, I can't eat steak, and I can't eat anything with any substance whatsoever.

(Well then don't eat Sweet Tarts you moron. - Ed.)

Normally I don't but every so often I try again just to see if it still hurts. It does. I would love to know the scientific explanation. I mean, it can't happen to everyone or no one would ever buy Sweet Tarts, or Bottle Caps, or Spree, or Nerds, or Tart n' Tiny" or Skittles, or Pop Rocks, or the like. So, does anyone have any answers or do I have to write a letter to New Scientist?


  • This is just an inference, but I think it is because the sour flavor probably comes from acid. Naturally sour fruits such as the lemon have high acid content and I think acids all taste sour. The candy is probably using some acid, probably citric acid for most flavors, to create the sour flavor.

    As for why your teeth hurt, I know that you had to stop drinking Coke - or cut back - because of your tooth enamel wearing down or something and Coke's phosphoric acid. I do know that the layer beneath the enamel, the dentin is softer and more vulnerable to acid, and the one beneath that in the root is even moreso. So the acid is probably dissolving the exposed layers of your bad teeth.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 6:24 PM  

  • Except,

    1. I've never had a cavity. The reason for the end of coke was to preserve my gums, not my teeth. I'm a lazy flosser. And,

    2. Why wouldn't anything else make my teeth hurt? Surely soda contains a ton of acid for flavoring, but it's only fruity candy that does it.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:37 AM  

  • I dunno, it's a guess, er guessference (worse than sticktoitiveness?)
    For #1, if your gums have receded, then dentin and maybe root are exposed. As for #2, maybe the candy has more. I mean if soda had that much acid it would be kinda sour (by my theory) right?

    Test: Eat some lemons and see if your teeth hurt.

    Otherwise, find someone who actually knows what they're talking about, like a dentist.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 4:14 PM  

  • I searched "dentist sour hurt" and it said those sour candies have lots of acid in them. It also seems to suggest that if your gums have receded it could cause sensitivity.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 4:32 PM  

  • I read the title of this post as "The Southern Problem"; I got more than halfway through your "analagy" before I caught it. A pity, really - the payoff would most likely have been awesome.

    Put another way, maybe there's fertile ground in comparing the Democratic Party's uncompetitiveness in southern states to oral discomfort. . .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 AM  

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