10 Sep

Balance Your pH and Improve Your Mouth

smile-teethYou think that “pH level” is a term that belongs in a high school science class, but the pH of your body actually has a significant impact on your overall health. A poorly balanced pH can cause digestive problems, joint pain, and even oral health issues.

About pH

Every aqueous solution has a pH level that measures its acidity or basicity. The scale runs from 0, which is the most acidic, to a neutral 7, to the most basic at 14. Certain items are far more acidic than others. Battery acid has a pH of zero, making it one of the most acidic substances on the planet. Lemon juice and soda aren’t too far behind, with pH levels of 3 and 4. While blood hovers around neutral, baking soda is a commonly recognized base with a higher pH.

Your Mouth and pH

Your mouth has a pH level too, though it fluctuates throughout the day based on what you eat and drink. If your mouth is perfectly healthy, it will have a pH of 7.0 or above, but as soon as your mouth dips down into the acidic level at 6.5, you risk damage from too much acid. By the time your mouth measures at a pH of 5.5, you are probably suffering from erosion, discoloration, and the formation of cavities. On the other hand, if you can keep your mouth pH at 7.5 or above, your teeth actually have a chance to re-mineralize and become stronger.

Eat and Drink Wisely

If you make smart food and beverage choices, you can maintain control over the pH of your mouth and save yourself oral health miseries. A diet heavy in soda and sugar-laden foods will make your pH more dangerously acidic, but opting for salty nuts and chicken soup will keep your mouth a nice alkaline 8.5

Xylitol to the Rescue

Xylitol has become very popular in the natural health world as a major tooth saver. Xylitol is available in mints, gels, and gum, and it works by reversing acidity into alkalinity. If you eat one or two Xylitol mints after eating or drinking, it is usually enough to protect your teeth from the damaging impacts of acidity. This is not a replacement for brushing and flossing, but an added layer of protection during the day.

Dr. Obrochta