What Does a Healthy Mouth Look Like?

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The bacteria in our mouth feed off of the sugars in the food we eat and drink. When we eat, the foods we consume provide oral bacteria with the means to create lactic acid that causes tooth decay. One of the ways we can control the growth of bad bacteria is by limiting consumption of sugary foods. If you have acidic saliva this can cause dental problems because your saliva can damage your teeth and causing dental caries, broken fillings, tooth sensitivity and receding gums even if you are brushing and flossing daily.

According to the International Journal of Drug Testing, a healthy pH in saliva is somewhere between 5.6-7.9. If the pH level in your mouth is less than 5.5 you will fall prey to cavities because the acidity level will erode tooth enamel.

By eating foods that balance the alkalinity of saliva you can create an unfavorable environment which keeps oral bacteria from thriving. By lowering oral pH, bacteria that produce lactic acid thrive, while eating foods with a higher pH helps with alkalinity, limiting bacteria growth. This includes foods like spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, blueberries, mangos, and avocados. The highly acidic and low pH food and drinks include energy drinks, soda, coffee, artificial sweeteners, beef, bread, nuts, pasta, and pork.

Basically, a healthy oral environment is non-acidic, neutral, or alkaline mouth, with a pH 7.0 or above. The roots of your teeth begin dissolving when pH gets lower than neutral (at pH 6.5). In fact, when oral acidity drops to pH 5.5 or lower, teeth will start to erode, become discolored, at become cavity prone. While we know that acidity weakens teeth, it has more to do with the length of time that acids are lingering in the mouth that causes the most damage. Sipping drinks all day or snacking on acidic foods harmful for your oral health. Keep exposure to acidity at a minimum to protect your pearly whites.

Like everything else, finding balance is key when regulating the pH of the mouth. In conjunction with a good daily oral hygiene routine and regular dental cleanings, balancing your oral pH can keep the mouth at its healthiest level.

Give our team a call at Hooper Family Dentistry if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health. We can be reached at 318-742-2272 today!