What is Spinach Teeth?

It’s not necessary that all of us are fans of spinach. However, we cannot deny the fact that spinach is a very important vegetable for everyone to have. If you are a fan of spinach, then you know that there are hundreds of dishes that you can add spinach to and create a new dish each time. If you have ever eaten a fresh spinach salad, then you will know that after having spinach, your teeth tend to feel strange.

You often feel that the teeth feel chalky. We all get a weird feeling in the teeth after having spinach. You must have wondered at some point or other as to what exactly is this weird sensation and if it happens only to you. Actually, ‘spinach teeth’ is very much a real thing and you are not the only person in the world who feels it.

Perhaps the only thing many people do not like about spinach is that it makes your teeth feel strange and chalky after having it. Well, the phenomenon of ‘spinach teeth’ is very much real and it happens due to the presence of high amounts of oxalic acid found in spinach.

What is Spinach Teeth?

What is Spinach Teeth?

Spinach contains one of the highest levels of oxalic acid amongst all plants. Commonly referred to as an antinutrient, oxalic acid is able to bond with minerals, blocking the body’s capability to absorb these nutrients. In the case of spinach, oxalic acid blocks the absorption of calcium. This is why when you chew spinach, the calcium present in your saliva starts mixing with the oxalic acid present in spinach. This process makes crystals of calcium oxalate. These crystals stick to your teeth, making it feel gritty. Calcium oxalate does not dissolve in water, and thus continues to float around in your mouth.

There really isn’t anything you can do to stop or reduce this feeling. So, if you like spinach, you will just need to accept it and the continue eating spinach.

Other vegetables such as kale, beets, rhubarb, and in fact, even chocolate, are rich in oxalic acid.

Keep in mind, though, that the high content of oxalic acid in spinach can also prevent your body from absorbing iron. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you have spinach by combining it with foods that contain vitamin C. You can simply squeeze a little fresh lemon on top your spinach before having.


Now that you know what makes your teeth feel weird after having spinach, you should keep in mind that oxalate acid can also cause kidney stones. Therefore, if you have a tendency of developing stones, then you should go easy on the consumption of spinach. You can get rid of this gritty and chalky feeling on your teeth by simply brushing your teeth after consuming the spinach.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 19, 2018

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