Everything You Should Know about pH and Dental Health

Posted on: Saturday, March 10th, 2018


When was the last time you contemplated the role of pH in your daily life? Maybe 10th grade chemistry class? Most of us don’t realize that pH isn’t just a part of a science lesson; it is a concept that impacts your body’s wellness every single day. In fact, pH is especially relevant when it comes to your dental health.

What Does pH Mean?

If you need a quick review, pH is short for “potential of hydrogen”. It is a numerical scale used in chemistry to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The pH scale ranges from 0, which is as acidic as battery acid, to 14, which is a strong base like bleach. Sodas like Coke and Pepsi have a 2 or 3 pH, which makes them dangerously acidic. Pure water, on the other hand, is a safe and neutral 7 on the pH scale.

Why Does pH Matter In Your Mouth?

The foods and drinks you select each day directly influence the amount of acid entering your mouth and impacting your teeth. If your teeth and gums are constantly exposed to acidic foods and drinks, the dental consequences become severe.

As soon as the pH in your mouth becomes acidic, the process of demineralization begins. This softens the enamel surfaces of your teeth and makes it much easier for bacteria to attack. Bacteria eagerly forms a breeding ground for decay. If you consistently expose your teeth to acid, decay will continue until serious issues like gum disease and tooth loss occur. Also if your pH is to alkaline the body wants to be closer to balanced leaching nutrients out of your bone surrounding your teeth leading to bone loss.

How to Achieve a Safe pH For Your Dental Health

The ideal pH for your mouth is a 6.75 to 7.25. This pH ensures that your mouth is non-acidic, also called neutral. Your diet choices influence the pH of your mouth more than anything else, so reaching the balanced mark is completely within your control!

First and foremost, cut highly acidic foods and beverages out of your diet as much as possible. Soda, beer, coffee, energy drinks, gatorade, refined and packaged snacks, and juice are common culprits. Replace those sugar-laden options with healthy choices like water, eggs, vegetables, beans, and seeds. If you can’t avoid a morning cup of coffee, swish with water frequently to wash the acid off of your teeth and gums.

You can also proactively improve the pH of your mouth by chewing gum containing xylitol. In addition to killing bacteria known to cause cavities, xylitol gum will also produce non-acidic saliva that can restore a neutral pH to your mouth. Neutral and alkaline toothpaste and mouth rinses are also an important part of the solution!

A holistic dentist believes that your mouth is connected to the rest of your body and focuses on helping you improve your wellness through smart dental and lifestyle choices. Call (727) 888-6523 to make an appointment at Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, Florida to restore your mouth to better health with the help of Dr. Carlson and Dr. Gilton.

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