Did you know cavities are preventable?  There are several kinds of bacteria in your mouth that uses simple carbohydrates like sugars and refined flours to break down about half of a tooth’s minerals away before dental intervention.  You can prevent this excessive damage from occurring if you learn how to balance your oral chemistry.

It has been found that the average diet has drastically changed to include more acidic and carbohydrate-laden foods, which cause oral and systemic acidity.  Water and milk beverages have been replaced with acidic fruit juices, sports drinks and sodas.  Much of our foods are processed and made with acidifiers to reduce bacterial growth so the food lasts longer.

This type of diet of acidic convenient food has increased the erosive burden we put on our teeth.   The table below is from a book “Mouth Matters Health Mouth Healthy Body” by Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, BSDH.  The chart helps us see the acidity (pH) of beverages commonly consumed.  Noting that tooth demineralization occurs at pH of 5.5 and below.  Her book brings out that the pH of drinks combined with the drink’s ability to neutralize acids can affect the erosion of our teeth.

 

BEVERAGEpH LEVEL
    A. Carbonated
    Lemon-flavored soft drinks2.6-3.2
    Cola drinks (excluding root beer)2.4-3.2
    Root beers4.0-4.61
    Low Calorie Cola Drinks
    PowerAde2.7
    Gatorade3.1
B. Fruit Juices
    Orange2.8-3.6
    Apple (contains malic acid)3.4-3.8
    Grapefruit2.9-3.6
    Pineapple3.3-3.7
    Lemon2.0-3.2
    Tomato4.0-4.6
    Sweetened Grapefruit3.1-3.4
C. Bottled Waters
    Natural Mineral Water-still7.8
    Natural Mineral Water-carbonated4.2-4.8
    Spring Water-still6.8-7.8
    Spring Water-carbonated4.2-4.8
    Table Water-still6.8-7.8
    Table Water-carbonated4.2-4.8
D. Milk6.5-6.8

 

Keeping this information in mind we should be considerate of the types of foods and beverages we consume.  Avoiding fermentable carbohydrates and processed, acid-forming foods could reduce calorie and acid exposure.  Also increasing the amount of water we intake is recommended.  We hope this information helps you in your endeavors to have a healthy mouth!

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