When we discuss oral pH with our clients, many of them ask whether the mouth should be more basic or more acidic. The answer is neither! The pH scale ranges from 0-14, and the lower numbers indicate more acidic chemicals.
A neutral pH is 7, which is the pH of normal water, and we want saliva to be in that range – 6.2-7.6. However, the pH of your mouth will change throughout the day as you eat and drink, but you can take steps to neutralize it when it becomes too acidic.
Why is Oral pH Important?
Like the rest of the body, it is important that your mouth maintains a balanced pH. If the saliva drops to a pH value of under 5.5, the acids in the mouth will start to break down tooth enamel. As the enamel demineralizes, it becomes thin, and the dentin layer may be exposed. This can lead to sensitivity, cavities, and decay.
How Should You Balance Your Oral pH?
A healthy diet involves foods and drinks from a variety of pH values, so it is important that you take steps to balance the pH of your mouth. The best thing that you can do is to drink a lot of water, as water has a pH of 7. This will wash away acids from other foods and can keep the pH balance of your mouth stable. Avoid sugary drinks and black coffee, but if you do drink them once in a while, do so in one sitting rather than sipping on them all day. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum that contains Xylitol can help to restore pH balance in the mouth.
Do you have questions about how your diet might be affecting the pH value of your mouth? Call us today to set up your next appointment.