The Importance of Maintaining Proper Oral pH Levels
Posted on 2/22/2021 by Kevin Nail, DDS
The pH level of a liquid refers to how acidic or basic that specific fluid is on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 representing something highly acidic (battery acid), 7 representing pure water, and 14 representing something highly basic (drain cleaner). Your different bodily fluids have different pH levels; stomach acid has a pH level of 1, the pH level of blood ranges from 7.35 to 7.45, and the pH level of saliva is usually between 6.2 and 7.6. Your saliva plays a critical role in balancing harmful acids that are found in many foods and drinks, so it is important to maintain its proper pH level.
Why Does the pH Level of Saliva Matter?
Saliva helps keep your mouth healthy in many ways. In addition to keeping your mouth moist, preventing bad breath, allowing you to swallow and digest food, and washing away bacteria and food particles between brushing, saliva is also essential for neutralizing acids. Acids are harmful to your teeth because they can erode your enamel, which is the protective outer covering of your teeth.
When your enamel begins to wear down, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities, decay, heightened sensitivity, and discoloration. Your teeth are at risk of acid erosion if the pH level of your saliva reaches 5.5 or below.
How You Can Maintain the pH Level of Your Saliva
The pH level of your saliva decreases when you consume acidic foods and drinks, as well as when you consume a lot of sugar and starch. Examples of acidic beverages include soda, sports drinks, red wine, coffee, and black tea. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar are also highly acidic. It is best to limit your intake of acidic foods and beverages, or at least protect your teeth when you consume them by drinking through a straw or rinsing your mouth with water after afterwards.
Other great ways to maintain your oral pH levels and keep your mouth healthy are to drink lots of water throughout the day, eat crunchy fruits and vegetables to stimulate saliva production, and never use tobacco. Contact our office to learn more.
Dental Blog Houston, TX | Kevin Nail DDS | Dentist Houston Dr. Kevin Nail at Kevin Nail DDS in Houston, TX has created this informative blog to help educate the community. For more information, click the link here! Kevin Nail, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, 15757 FM 529, Suite A, Houston, TX 77095-2890; (281) 550-9054; mcdonalddental.com; 6/27/2022; Page Phrases: dentist Houston TX;