The International Journal of Drug Testing has found that a healthy pH for saliva is between 5.6-7.9. If the pH level in your mouth is less than 5.5 you will become prone to dental caries because the acidity level will erode your enamel. So how do you create a healthier oral environment? One of the ways you can limit the growth of bacteria is by cutting back on sweet foods and drinks. Acidic saliva can even cause tooth damage in the form of cavities, broken fillings, tooth sensitivity and receding gums.
The environment you create in your mouth has a lot to do with the bacterial environment you create. What we eat and drink feeds the bacteria (and we have hundreds in the mouth) allowing them to create lactic acid which causes tooth decay over time. To limit bacteria, choose foods that balance the alkalinity of your saliva to create an unfavorable environment for oral bacteria.
By lowering oral pH the bacteria in your mouth that produces lactic acid end up thriving. Eating foods with a higher pH can help with alkalinity. Eating foods like spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, blueberries, mangos, and avocados raise alkalinity in the mouth. Highly acidic and low pH food and drinks include energy drinks, sodas, coffee, artificial sweeteners, beef, bread, nuts, pasta, and pork.
The length of time bacterial acids sit in the mouth makes it the most potentially damaging to teeth, like sipping soda or energy drinks all day or snacking on acidic foods throughout the day so the mouth doesn’t ever get to a healthy alkaline level. Keep exposure to acidity at a minimum to protect your pearly whites and it may help to sip water to keep saliva production up and wash away bacteria. If you can’t brush your teeth after eating or snacking, consider chewing sugar-free gum or mints.
Give our team a call at Country Club Dental if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health. We can be reached at 530.677.4457 today!