Do you know that the pH level of your mouth can greatly affect your oral and dental hygiene?
Most of the time you would have heard that the pH of your body is responsible for your health.
The acronym pH stands for potential hydrogen and helps to describe the chemical acidity level vs. alkalinity level of a substance.
The pH level of 14 is the most alkaline while that of 0 is the most acidic.
In the center of the spetum is 7, which is the level of pure water.
Moreover, studies indicate that if you have lower, or acidic pH then there is an increase in their risk of developing a condition like a type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Other studies suggest that higher or alkaline levels help to improve memory, cognition, reduce pain, lower the risk of hypertension and stroke.
Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.
Understanding pH Level
Differences in the pH level can affect your heart and cause a number of diseases.
However, a balanced pH can lead to better memory, reduce pain, lower your risk of hypertension, etc.
Another interesting fact is that the pH level of your mouth is linked to bone health.
Extensive research shows that pH levels have effects on bone health and also indicates that low-acidic diets can help to improve bone density.
Moreover, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, alkaline mineral water can decrease bone resorption and even lower parathyroid hormone levels which help to regulate the release of calcium from bone.
On the other hand, an alkaline diet is one that consists of foods to help increase the pH level of the mouth.
Moreover, they can help to increase growth hormone which in turn burns fat, improve libido, and retain a general sense of well-being.
Ph Level and Dental Health
If you are wondering what pH level has to do with your dental health, then dear reader, it can greatly affect your teeth and gums.
However, you can control the pH level of your mouth by controlling what you eat.
You can easily reap the benefits of alkaline foods on your teeth by focusing on their dental benefits.
The normal pH of saliva is about 6.2 to 7.6.
Different foods and drinks can change the pH level of your mouth.
For instance, bacteria in your mouth can break down the carbs you consume, releasing lactic acid, butyric acid, and aspartic acid.
As a result, the pH level of your mouth lowers.
Moreover, your age may also play a role in balancing the pH level of the mouth.
Adults tend to have more acidic saliva than children.
Bacteria found in your mouth feed off on sugar that is present in sucrose or table sugar, glucose, fructose, lactose, and cooked starch.
It can often lead to tooth decay.
An Unhealthy pH
Tooth decay can lead to a pH level in the mouth to range from 5.5.
While the normal pH of your mouth varies from this one, a lower pH level can cause dental issues.
When you consume acidic foods and drinks, pH within your mouth decreases and can often cause the pH to fall rapidly below 5.0.
This happens with the production of acids as the bacteria mobilizes the ingested nutrients.
When your mouth undergoes such changes or changes in the pH for the long term, it can cause cavity-causing bacteria to grow.
Moreover, exposure to sugan sends the Ph of the dental plaque below a healthy level.
However, this shift when ranges from 7.0 or above do not lead to a shift to cavity-causing bacteria even when you are exposed to sugar.
Why Regulating pH is Important?
As we have already discussed that pH scale starts from 1 for being the most acidic and ends at 14, being the most alkaline.
A number of factors cause acidic pH in your saliva and it can be lower than 7.0 that often resulting in dramatic damage to your teeth.
Acidic saliva leads to enamel loss, tooth decay, and cavities.
Tooth erosion, on the other hand, is permanent damage can once your enamel starts to wear off, you cannot replace it.
Moreover, enamel erosion can leave you:
- yellow discoloration on the surface of your teeth
- significant risk of developing cavities
- rough spots on your teeth that felt smooth
- feeling pain or experiencing sensitivity while consuming hot or cold foods and drinks
- in extreme situations can even lead to tooth loss.
Importance of pH Balance
Maintaining the pH of your mouth allows a healthy balance of both the good and bad bacteria.
With both good and bad bacteria (that is harmless) in your mouth or Oral Probiotics, they all aid in the digestion of foods.
Moreover, other good bacteria help to actually protect your teeth and gums.
Foods like sugary beverages, snacks, and some grains can increase the acidity in your mouth.
The pH of your mouth can change over time with these types of food.
Foods that are highly acidic like lemon, lower the pH, while foods like melon increase the pH.
The saliva helps to neutralize the acid, however, eating acidic foods can increase the acidity of the saliva.
If the pH takes a long time to neutralize, it can give bad bacteria in your mouth to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.
Usually, it may take a few minutes to hours for the pH to neutralize.
Thus, an acidic mouth is an optimal environment for bad bacteria to grow in your mouth and if you give it time, it can cause tooth decay.
Now let’s discuss the ways through which you can boost Alkalinity in your mouth.
1# Add Vegetables to your Diet
Adding more vegetables to your diet is one of the most important things you can do to boost not only your health but your dental health as well.
Your body needs nutrients and minerals to work at optimal performance.
Moreover, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to serious health complications.
Without proper vitamins, your immune system gets weak and does not have the ability to fight off bacteria and infections.
While some vegetables are acidic, many of them are alkaline, thus, they can help to neutralize the pH in your mouth and body.
Researchers and doctors are of the view that the more the vibrant color of the veggies, the more beneficial they are.
Good choices are kale, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, green beans, red bell peppers, etc.
On the other hand, bad choices are olives, corn, lentils, and winter squash.
2# Limit Bread and Artificial Sweeteners
Most bread grains fall in the acidic range. It is best to keep their consumption limited unless they are sprouted.
It is important for you to limit their intake even if you are taking them in sprouted form.
Some healthier options are also available such as almond flour bread as almonds are considered slightly alkaline.
You should always say no to artificial sweeteners. Alternatives like xylitol, honey, and beet sugar are acidic as well.
3# Say no to Condiments as well
If you like ketchup and mustard on your burgers, then you should avoid them.
This is because they are highly acidic and can also affect high acidity in your mouth.
Though you might find it hard to stop a habit, however, one thing that can help is you can choose to eat things that will offset the acidity.
Some options are to eat cantaloupe, mango, melons, apples, and carrots.
Instead of eating sweet desserts after dinner, you can eat alkalizing fruit or veggie that will help to lower the pH levels in your mouth.
Other bad choices of condiments are mayonnaise, miso, canned vegetables, tuna, and peanut butter.
4# Limit Alcohol, Dairy, and Coffee
Just like wine, cheese, and coffee are also acidic.
If you are not willing to give up on coffee and cheese, then think about its effect which might help you to reduce their intake.
To help you maintain a healthy pH and protect your teeth and gums from infections and decay, you should consider reducing the intake of these food items.
You may be surprised to learn that foods like egg whites, coconut, melon, and asparagus are alkaline.
On the other hand, cranberries, fruit jelly, plums, wine, and grapefruit are acidic in nature.
5#Beans and Salads
Different types of beans and salads are alkaline in nature.
Soy, navy, and lime beans are highly alkaline, for instance. Moreover, caraway, cumin, fennel, and sesame are alkaline as well.
Both beans and salads can help you to reduce alkalinity in your mouth and thus reduce your chances of developing teeth and gum issues.
It is important to note that symptoms like bad breath, sensitivity to cold or hot beverages, and tooth cavities are some indications of pH imbalance in your mouth. However, you can take care of it by reducing the intake of acidic foods and increasing the amounts of alkaline foods.
The saliva of pH levels 6.2 to 7.6 is considered balanced and helps to maintain a healthy mouth and in turn, protect your teeth. Testing your salivary pH is simple and with the help of simple lifestyle changes, you can keep the pH level of your mouth balanced.