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Our diets as Americans have changed drastically over the last several decades. It includes a substantial amount more of acidic and carbohydrate related foods. These cause oral and systemic acidity. There are several kinds of bacteria that use simple carbohydrates to breakdown a tooth’s minerals, creating opportunity for decay and cavities. Cavities are a preventable infectious disease if you balance your oral chemistry.

Sodas, fruit juices and sports drinks are highly acidic and have seemed to replace our water and milk consumption. Teeth start to demineralize at a pH level of 5.5. On average soft drinks to fruit juices, etc. have a pH level of 2.6-4.6 depending on the type of drink. Sports drinks and energy drinks have the strongest potential for tooth erosion.

Many medications diminish the protective flow of saliva resulting in acid buffering and micro repair to slowing or completely stopping. As we get older this protection lessens and the saliva available is less effective. It is important to not dilute remaining saliva with frequent drinking in these cases.

Enamel is about 98 percent mineralized; the crown of a tooth is much stronger and more resistant to acid attacks, than its roots. When roots are exposed due to bone and tissue loss they are at a higher risk for decay. So making better food choices, eating fewer fermentable carbohydrates and processed and acidic foods can help protect you teeth.

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