You may recall learning about PH from your high school science class. If not, that is okay too, in this blog post we will be discussing why PH is important to your oral health and what major roles it plays. For more information contact your Colorado Springs Dentist.
Back to The Basic of PH
Hydrogen Ions can be complicated to explain, but the important thing to remember is that a PH reading of 7 is considered neutral. It indicates that the test subject is neither basic nor acidic. A good reference point would be water. Water naturally has a PH that levels out at 7. As the numbers begin to drop below 7 the substance tends to become more and more acidic. As we exceed 7 and move into the range between (7-14) on the PH scale substances gain more Alkaline. Now let’s see how these PH levels affect your overall oral health.
Tooth Enamel Verses Acid
Tooth Enamel is by far the most durable component to the human body. However, a PH level below 5.5 is the quickest way to destroy and dissolve the enamel of your teeth. This is what we call acid erosion. They are a variety of ways our teeth can become exposed to acid erosion. The most common ways to expose our teeth are through the things we eat or drink. A lot of the time we can taste the acid. Food or drinks that are tart, sour, sugary, or starchy are our biggest culprits for acid. Oral bacteria that is there to try to protect our mouths tend to end up being our own enemy. Oral Bacteria’s main job is to eat the left-over products that get lodged between our teeth, and in doing this ends up producing acid as a waste. Another way we expose our teeth to acid is through Acid reflex which is produced by our intestinal tract, or by getting sick and vomiting. The things that are listed are another reason why it is important to floss our teeth and brush at least twice a day.
Saliva’s Role in Oral Health
Saliva is our number one defense against the acids we encounter every day. Saliva has a natural PH level of a little above 7. Our saliva plays a key role in keeping our oral bacteria regulated, while also assisting in the removal of food particles that could get stuck in our teeth. Therefore, you should try to avoid experiencing dry mouth at all costs. The more saliva we produce the more we can help protect our teeth from getting damaged. Other behaviors that can be harmful to our oral health are sipping on soda throughout the day, or simply snacking. Our mouths need time to neutralize after eating or drinking, so we snack or sip we are constantly introducing more acid. By allowing these behaviors we are not allowing our saliva to catch up to remove acid buildup.
Alkaline Based Diets Help Protect Our Teeth
A great way to assist our saliva with our oral health is to introduce more alkaline based foods into our diet and reduce the amount of acid-based foods and drinks that we consume. Adding more fruits and vegetables, and reducing the amount of bread, meats, and dairy we consume will help improve your overall oral health. Great ways to stay on top of your oral health is to continue to brush and floss every day and to continue with regular visits with your dentist. It also helps to cut down on soda and sugary treats that can be harmful on your enamel.