When you hear someone talking about “pH”, your mind probably travels to chemicals and industrial-strength cleaners. What you might not think about is the saliva in your mouth and how important the pH value actually is. In fact, low pH can affect your teeth and oral health.
The Importance Of PH Balance
The pH scale describes the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, and it ranges from 0 to 14. Pure water sits in the middle of the road with a pH value of 7. Certain beverages like tomato juice, soda, orange juice, and lemon juice have considerably lower pH values, indicating that they are highly acidic.
Healthy saliva has a pH of 7.4, but consuming acidic foods and beverages lowers this rating. An imbalance occurs that can demineralize the tooth enamel, leading to a condition called acid erosion. This will thin out the enamel and will eventually expose the dentin.
How To Ensure PH Balance
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to rebalance your oral pH:
- Avoid highly acidic foods and beverages, but if they cannot be avoided, consume them at one time. Don’t nurse the same beverage for hours.
- Never brush immediately after drinking or eating something acidic, as this can cause further damage when your enamel is already vulnerable.
- Plan your meals to have both acidic and alkaline dishes to balance the pH. For example, sweet corn has a more alkaline pH at 7.3.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water in order to balance the pH and to keep your mouth well lubricated.
If despite your best efforts you still feel it is difficult to balance your pH, you may have a more serious dental condition. Give our office a call to set up an evaluation and let us get to the bottom of it.