A composition and process for suppressing pain and irritation of tissue includes an anti-irritant in an effective amount to suppress pain and irritation temporarily when applied topically to the skin or mucosa. The anti-irritant is a natural or non-nutritive sweetener. The composition can be a solid containing an edible acid such as citric acid and ascorbic acid from fresh lemon juice to form a solution having a pH of about 2.0 to 4.0 and an anti-irritant, such as sodium saccharine. The composition can be used to apply a pharmaceutical agent to the skin, mucosa or eye without irritation. The acidic composition can further be used to remove or loosen calculus deposits from the teeth without burning or irritation of the gums.