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How Saliva pH Affects Dental Health

by | Jun 3, 2019

The pH levels throughout your body are important in maintaining your overall health. Acidic pH levels are often associated with a higher risk of many health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. As it turns out, having a balanced saliva pH positively affects your oral health. Your mouth’s pH level plays a major role in maintaining optimal oral health, and learning how different foods and behaviors alter your pH can help you keep your mouth healthy for a lifetime.


The Importance of Regulating Saliva pH

Why is saliva pH so important? The short answer is that the pH level of your mouth impacts your overall oral health. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14, 1 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being the most alkaline. To find out your saliva pH, you can use a hydrion pH test paper at home. For the most accurate results, you should test your saliva in the morning before you drink or eat anything.

Acidic pH is  Acidic saliva caused by a pH level lower than 7 can result in significant damage to your smile. When you have acidic saliva, your smile will likely suffer from acid erosion, which can ultimately lead to enamel loss,  tooth decay, and cavities.

On the other hand, studies have shown that an alkaline pH level in your mouth can increase bone density and enamel strength. In fact, if your mouth pH is neutral at a 7, or higher, and you eat sugary or acidic foods, any dental plaque in your mouth will not shift to cavity-causing bacteria because of the healthy pH.

So what should the pH level in your mouth be? What you really want is alkaline saliva. Alkaline pH levels in the mouth of 7.5 or higher will help remineralize enamel, and fight against cavity-causing bacteria.

By limiting the acidic foods in your diet and eating more alkaline foods, you can increase saliva pH and improve the overall health of your mouth.


Eliminate Acidic Saliva in Your Mouth with an Alkaline Diet

If you want to create an alkaline pH environment in your mouth, you need to begin eating an alkaline diet. Here are a few diet tips that can help you eliminate acidic saliva support optimal oral health:

  • Eat More Veggies – Eating more veggies is great for your dental and overall health. Many veggies are alkaline and will help neutralize the pH in your saliva and the rest of your body. Great choices include spinach, green beans, red bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and asparagus.
  • Add Seeds and Beans – Many seeds and beans are alkaline as well and can help you eliminate acidic saliva. Lima beans, navy beans, soy beans, and sesame seeds are all great options to add to your diet.
  • Limit Breads and Other Sugars – Sugary foods, including breads, should be limited to support an alkaline diet. This is because carbohydrates take the form or sugar or starches, both of which will lower your pH levels.
  • Reduce Your Intake of Alcohol, Coffee, and Dairy – Alcohol, coffee, and dairy products are all acidic. You may need to give up that glass of wine and the morning cup of joe to keep your saliva pH alkaline. If you can’t give up your favorites completely, at least work to reduce your intake.
  • Skip the Artificial Sweeteners – Think sugar alternatives are ok? Think again. Xylitol, beet sugar, and honey are acidic on the pH scale. Swap these sweeteners for Stevia to support an alkaline saliva pH.
  • Beware of Condiments – You even need to think about the condiments you’re using. Mustard and ketchup, summer favorites for burgers and hotdogs, are very acidic. Other bad condiments include mayo and miso. If you do indulge, follow up these foods with melons, cantaloupe, carrots, or apples to offset all the acidity.

Understanding how saliva pH is paramount in maintaining optimal oral health. In order to keep your tooth enamel strong and fight cavities and gum disease, your mouth pH should be on the alkaline side of the pH scale. You can consult with your dentist on how to best maintain an optimal saliva pH and keep your smile healthy and bright.


Triangle Dentistry located in Raleigh, NC provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns and implants to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 747-3592.