How come when you eat a lot of sour things your tongue hurts and you taste buds swell up?


jtobako8 years ago
Cause sour is an acid and you are causing damage to your tongue, which then swells up to try to heal.
littleerinr (author)  jtobako8 years ago
ok thanks i have always wondered that.
Citrus and vinegar and soda acids are classified as "weak" acids because they don't break up much when dissolved in water. (As is the waste produced by your teeth bacteria when they eat sugar.)

However, this doesn't mean that they can't have strong effects when they are concentrated. Besides causing tongue inflammation like you mention, they can also permanently damage the hard surface of your teeth. Tooth enamel is normally extremely strong, but if you bite down on something hard when it's weakened by acid, it crumbles. The damage becomes permanent if enamel wears away faster than it can be repaired. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help your body repair everyday damage like this. Eating citrus fruits like oranges is good for you; just be sure to rinse your mouth with water after eating. Interestingly, plain unsweetened (and not lemon flavored!) tea can help your teeth by making the enamel stronger and by killing some of your teeth bacteria.

The damaging effects of acid on living cells can also be a good thing. Soaking foods in lemon juice, vinegar, or tomato paste is an excellent way to keep bacteria from growing on them. You may be able to handle a bit of acid, but many kinds of bacteria can't.