Al asked in HealthOther - Health · 8 months ago

is stomach acid strong enough to dissolve a tooth?

if yes, how can stomach acid dissolve teeth but not our stomach or the food we eat. If stomach acid dissolves food, why do we poop. I think I swallowed part of my tooth, will it be painful coming out or will stomach acid destroy it

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  • Sky
    Lv 7
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    It takes a while for stomach acid to dissolve a tooth, much longer than the amount of time it would spend in the stomach.  But it does damage teeth, hence the tooth decay of bulimic people due to the frequent vomiting.  Stomach acid doesn't dissolve the stomach because the lining of the stomach secretes a thick mucous that acts as a barrier between the stomach tissue and the acid.  A stomach ulcer is when parts of the stomach lining stop making that mucous, allowing the acid to begin dissolving the stomach itself.  Acid reflux is when the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach can't hold back the acid and it allows the acid to flow up into the esophagus, which can cause damage to the esophagus over time.  That damage and continual healing process can lead to esophageal cancer.

    Stomach acid chemically breaks down food, along with enzymes breaking it down as well, so that when it's discharged into the small intestine the bacteria and enzymes can continue breaking it down so the required components can be absorbed into the blood stream.  There is also a process of acid reuptake where the acid is absorbed back out of the goop in the small intestine and stored in the gall bladder.  I'm not entirely sure about how exactly it all works.

    If you actually swallowed part of your tooth you have nothing to worry about.  The stomach acid will partially dissolve it, and whatever is left over is to small to do any damage as it continues to pass through your system and get crapped out.  A kernel of corn is about the size of a tooth, and look how often we eat corn and then crap it back out fully intact (that's why it's important to chew thoroughly, so the outer surface of such foods is broken and the acid can get inside and do its job).  Someone I know once swallowed a nickel and a dime as a kid, and those passed on through and got crapped out with no problem, and with no dissolving whatsoever.

  • 8 months ago

    Much of the poop you produce is actually helpful (but dead) bacteria from your gut. Not all solids are completely dissolved and make up the rest.

  • 8 months ago

    Food only sticks in our stomach for a few hours before it makes its way through the intestines and eventually exits as a turd. If you think about it, that’s some pretty strong acid to dissolve food in a few hours. 

    The acid doesn’t eat the stomach because the stomach is coated so it neutralizes they acid that touches the stomach. 

    Stomach acid can dissolve a tooth given enough time. 

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    It will pass through your system, naturally.  Stomach acid breaks down food, and uses the nutrients to fuel the body. It can be looked at as chemical reactions taking place, with the by products being passed through the bowels.

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