17th Sep 2013 | Posted in: Blog Comments Off on HOLY TEETH!!

The role of saliva, pH and other factors affecting a healthy mouth.

I just attended a dental meeting put on by our Northern California Dental Society on the prevention of tooth decay.  Dr. Brian Novy gave a very entertaining lecture on a topic that has been at the heart of dentistry since its inception. Did you know that what is in your saliva makes a big difference if you will get tooth decay or not? Saliva lubricates our food to begin digestion, but has many other important things it does to help create a positive( or negative) environment for a healthy mouth.

The pH of your saliva plays a huge role in promoting the good or bad bacteria (decay causing) that resides in your mouth.  You have a chemistry lab happening everyday in your mouth whether you know it or not. When I was in school we would take these beakers full of different acids and “titrate” them to different liquids to get fun color changes. When you eat food or drink, you are doing a lab experiment in your mouth. The more you lower the pH in your mouth, the more acidic it becomes. The more frequent you do this during the day the more times you are subjecting your oral environment to these harmful acidic attacks. A neutral pH between 6.8-7.2 is good. Even a small drop to 6.6 allows bad things to start happening. A pH at 5.5 is when de-mineralization occurs. De-mineralization is when your tooth will start breaking down (cavities). Re-mineralization is a good thing for teeth.  This is when teeth can actually repair themselves. How do you know if your saliva is acidic or not? Ask us to do a test for you, the next time you are in for your hygiene visit. If you can’t sleep at night, because you have to know what your salivary pH is and you can’t wait for your next hygiene visit. I recommend “googling” ph test strips for saliva. For under $10 you can find all the litmus paper you need to test your own saliva!  More to come on preventing Holy teeth….

blog by Dr. Reuss

Comments are closed.