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What we eat and drink feeds the bacteria (and we have hundreds in the mouth) allowing them to create lactic acid which causes tooth decay over time. To limit bacteria, choose foods that balance the alkalinity of your saliva to create an unfavorable environment for oral bacteria. One of the ways you can limit the growth of bacteria is by cutting back on sweet foods and drinks. Acidic saliva can even cause tooth damage in the form of cavities, broken fillings, tooth sensitivity and receding gums. Stress, hormones, and sickness can also acidify saliva.

Foods that raise acidity in the mouth (and lower pH):
Energy drinks

Foods that raise alkalinity in the mouth (and raise pH):
Green beans
Navy and lima beans

The International Journal of Drug Testing has said that a healthy pH for saliva is between 5.6-7.9. If the pH level in your mouth is less than 5.5 you will become prone to dental caries because the acidity level will erode your enamel. By lowering oral pH, bacteria that produce lactic acid thrive. Eating foods with a higher pH can help with alkalinity.

Keep your exposure to acidity at a minimum to protect your pearly whites and drink lots of water to keep saliva production up and clear away bacteria. If you can’t brush your teeth after eating or snacking, consider chewing sugar-free gum or mints.

Give our team a call at New Image Dentistry if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health. We can be reached at 619.470.2558 today!