Maintaining a proper pH level in your mouth can prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Continual consumption of foods with low pH levels can also lead to irreversible dental erosion. I’m Dr. James Stewart, a dentist in Livonia, MI., and I want to discuss why acidic foods should be consumed in moderation.
Potential of hydrogen (pH) is the standard measure of acidity, and it is measured on a scale of 0-14. A low pH means the solution contains more acid. High pH means the solution rates alkaline. When a solution tests at a 7, it is considered neutral.
Acidic foods cause tooth enamel to weaken for a short period of time. Saliva, an alkaline, normally restores the pH balance in your mouth. Enamel generally rehardens after 30 minutes. However, excessive consumption of acidic foods or drinks causes the pH balance to remain too low for the mouth to heal itself. Thus, you increase your risk of tooth decay.
Foods and drinks that are high in acid are: soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit, fruit yogurt, and wine. These foods and drinks should be consumed infrequently. If you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water for 30 seconds, chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva, and use fluoride toothpaste afterward.
If you eat high acidic food, or drink a lot of soda or sports drinks, and are concerned with tooth decay, enamel erosion, and sensitivity, call my Livonia dentist office at (743)425-4400 to schedule an appointment. I care for residents of Livonia, Farmington Hills, Novi, and surrounding areas. Remember, a healthy smile is a beautiful smile!