Change Your pH and Improve Your Teeth and Gums!

Alkalize mouth and body!

If you read my newsletters, blog, or books, you know a healthy mouth is a non-acidic, neutral, or alkaline mouth, with a pH 7.0 or above. Tooth roots begin to dissolve as this pH gets a tiny bit below neutral (at pH 6.5) and, when acidity levels dip to pH 5.5 or lower teeth will erode, become discolored, and be at risk for cavities. All acidity weakens teeth, but it is the amount of time that acids are in contact with teeth that determines the severity of the damage. Erosion and decay are worse when people sip drinks or nibble acidic foods. For healthy teeth, exposure to acidity must be kept to a minimum. Teeth actually become stronger and re-mineralize when the mouth is alkaline at a pH 7.5 or above.

Your saliva pH

People with acidic saliva often experience dental problems because their own saliva damages teeth. These folks wonder why they have uncontrollable cavities, broken fillings, gum recession or sensitivity, despite their efforts to brush and floss. The solution is to protect teeth with xylitol, and find ways to alkalize the mouth as often as possible. Zellies 100% Xylitol Mints and Gum are an immediate solution for mouth acidity, changing the mouth pH quickly into a safe zone.

How long does xylitol protect teeth from acidity?

The answer depends on the pH of your “natural” saliva. Saliva filters into the mouth, derived from body liquids, which reflect the pH and chemistry of your body. The effects of stress, hormone changes, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition makes saliva acidic. As acidic saliva flows into the mouth it will negate the alkalizing benefit of xylitol. People with acidic saliva may need an individualized xylitol regimen to protect their teeth adequately. If your salvia is naturally alkaline, one or two Zellies mints after eating or drinking will usually be sufficient to protect teeth from food or drink acidity.

How eating affects mouth pH

All the food we eat and the drinks we drink change mouth pH. Mouth pH can fluctuate wildly, from the strong acidity of citrus fruits, juices, and wines (pH 2.2 or lower) to the alkaline pH of chicken soup and salty nuts (pH 8.5 or higher).

Pure xylitol (like Zellies Mints, Zellies Gum and Zellies Bears) prevent cavities by helping turn an acidic mouth into an alkaline mouth, in minutes. The best time to benefit from xylitol is to eat one or two mints, a ZellieBear, or xylitol gum at the end of every meal, drink or snack.

How to alkalize your saliva

The pH of fluids circulating around the human body (including the saliva in your mouth) register in a narrow pH range. The pH of blood should be approximately pH 7.3 (slightly alkaline) while healthy saliva should register 7.0 (neutral). When the pH of body fluids is alkaline and above 7.0 it indicates an oxygen-rich environment (which is an ideal state for good health). When pH levels are below 7.0 (acidic) this indicates an oxygen-deprived environment, which primes our body for disease and our teeth for de-mineraliztion and cavities. Xylitol helps defend teeth by alkalizing the mouth. However, for total health, it is important to work to alkalize your body. Doing this, will not only benefit your health but it will help to alkalize saliva for additional mouth and tooth protection.

Natural saliva variation

There are times in life when, no matter what you do, saliva seems to become acidic. The hormones of pregnancy appear to change saliva and put women’s teeth at risk for acidic damage. Stress and sickness also create times of mouth acidity. Other variations occur like a rhythm, with daily fluctuations in pH and flow rate (diurnal variation). Saliva is least protective at night and in the early hours and most alkaline and protective in the afternoon.

Improving saliva pH

You can achieve improvement in saliva pH by making lifestyle and habit adjustments (reduce stress, exercise, sleep etc), and you can also influence saliva pH by selecting specific foods to eat, foods to help “alkalize” the body. As we digest foods, their by-products or nutrients are absorbed into our body. Not all food provides good nutrients, and some create acidic by-products that work against us. Most experts agree we need at least 80% of our daily foods to be the kind that help us maintain a neutral or alkaline body pH.

Wasting time

If you eat alkalizing veggies and fruits, your body will not fully benefit from them without the correct enzymes to mange the absorption of their nutrients into the body. Some fermented and raw foods provide enzymes, but these may not be adequate. If you have a good diet, I often recommend additional raw probiotics (pill form) pineapple (bromelain), and papaya (papain) – perhaps a little at each meal – to ensure maximum nutrition for your body and mouth.

Don’t get confused!

The most confusing detail is that one or two products that alkalize the body are, in fact, acidic in the mouth. The two best examples are:

a)    Lemons are one of the best products to alkalize your body, but they have such a low pH in the mouth, drinking lemonade can destroy teeth.

b)    Spinach is good to alkalize the body, but the oxalic acid in spinach can destroy the healthy pellicle on teeth and make them sensitive.

If you eat lemons or spinach –be sure to incorporate them into meals and end the meal with some Zellies Xylitol. Fortunately many alkalizing foods are not damaging to teeth: foods like watermelon, asparagus, mushrooms, mango, apples, and garlic.

Foods and drinks to avoid

Many popular soft drinks create body acidity and feed acid-producing bacteria in the mouth, promoting gum disease and cavities. These drinks contain acids plus lots of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup. The worst may be carbonated soft drinks– especially if they contain additional caffeine.

Addicted to soda?

People with gum disease often have a kind of bacteria in their mouth that affects their taste buds, making water unpalatable. If you dislike water, and have bad gums, try adding one teaspoons of xylitol into water and sip this, in place of soda, for a week. You may find your taste buds recover and your desire for soda is reduced. Limiting or eliminating soda will be good for your gums, teeth and body health!


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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites: – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

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Categories: Acidity, Cavities, Natural Solutions, Prevention, Xylitol

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29 replies

  1. Excellent article that I’ll share with my coffee-sipping and Diet Coke-drinking husband!

  2. Would you recommend going this detailed when educating my patients on their teeth and gums? I did like the “addicted to soda” section and I preach it daily but these other areas are just as good but I fear my patients wouldn’t understand or care. Thanks!

    • Most patients believe they can prevent cavities by 1) brushing teeth and 2) going to the dentist regularly.
      You know a dentist has no power to prevent cavities, and that the only help a toothbrush provides is from the paste on the brush. I am convinced the best toothpaste is Crest Cavity Protection. If you can get patients to buy this paste ( and it is not expensive) I think you do them a huge favor. If they won’t use ACT rinse – suggest they make their own “rinse” from toothpaste residue – swishing it around their mouth before they spit out. Zellies mints are easy to use, and people quickly understand they protect teeth after drinking coffee, tea, snacking or eating…….When patients see results from two simple changes, they may be more motivated to try the rest of the system.

    • I WISH a dentist had taught me about this a long time ago! I am a bit of a “studier” but I think most people would at least take some of the lessons in. :)

  3. Great information..! Can’t thank you enough~. :)

  4. Hi,

    I keep finding the statement that a healthy mouth is “alkaline at a pH 7.5 or above”. How much “above” is okay? How about for a product applied to the teeth – like a mouthrinse?


    • I wish there was more research on this subject – but we know that acidic mouth conditions generally promote the growth of acidic-loving bacteria – which are plaque bacteria (mainly Strep. mutans).Tipping the mouth conditions to alkaline suppresses these, and promotes a healthier mouth ecosystem. What happens above pH 7.5 is not known.

      In addition we know that to favor natural remineralization and support of tooth-health, the conditions around the teeth need to be alkaline ( around pH 7.5 has been suggested). How much more alkaline can conditions be and still get remineralization – not known. However, I am certain that baking soda is not helpful because it dissolves protein layers from teeth. Salt water and chicken broth, however, is an old favorite for mouth health, and is, of course, very alkaline.

      The caveat is that, in the presence of fluoride, mineralization will occur in a more acidic pH. The remineralization supported by fluoride forms a more acid-resistant enamel crystal. This is why ACT does not make your mouth alkaline – but slightly acidic – but in this situation it is OK and actually a benefit.
      Hope this convoluted answer is helpful!

  5. Wife has been taking a product that claims to remove bone spurs by keeping her body acidic. However she has diabetes and being acidic is not good for that! We are between a rock and a hard place of what to do in her present state! How can this mess be straighten out?

    • Bone spurs are usually an indication of weak bones trying to help themselves in an unusual way. They grow extensions instead of making themselves internally strong. Often poor diet is involved and also insufficient exercise. Acid is sometimes suggested to help absorption of calcium and other nutrients during digestion.

      I do not make dietary recommendations for general health problems, but I do think a nutritious diet, avoiding soda drinks (especially artificially-sweetened coke Zero etc.) and taking good supplements will help over time. Xylitol is a great sweetener for your wife – since it is diabetic safe, and when eaten after meals will protect teeth from acidity. Xylitol has also been shown to help prevent osteoporosis and repair weakened bones in a number of animal studies.

  6. Most mouth washes and rinses that claim to rebuild teeth and strengthen gums usually exhibit an acidic pH of around the 3 – 5 range. Would you recommend avoiding these rinses and moving towards rinses that are at a basic pH (around 8 range) to counteract naturally occurring acidic saliva?

    • I recommend a system that promotes remineralization with a short and temporary drop in pH through the use of acidic Listerine followed by ACT mouth wash. The slight dehydration of the tooth surface plus the acidity creates new enamel crystals that are more acid-resistant. These tooth crystals produce stronger enamel, a more resistant enamel and a smother enamel that attracts less plaque to its surface. For more information about the Complete Mouth Care System I recommend please visit my site on this LINK

  7. Can I receive an opinion on this toothpaste? Below is a link to an article about it. Is there validity to the claims made?

    Coral LLC Coral White Toothpaste Mint

    • Thanks for the message. I have no experience with the toothpaste you mention, but I doubt it does any harm ( which is better than most toothpaste!). I only recommend products that I know work.

      You could try this paste ( if your teeth are healthy) but if you already have dental problems, I suggest the Complete Mouth System that I have recommended for decades and that I know gives incredible benefit and improvements.

  8. What studies support your claim that baking soda dissolves the protein layers of the teeth?

  9. I am 18 yrs old girl but my teeth have been decaying since 3 to 4 yrs! I had a big cavities in my front teeth which I got filled! I have medical history of cough problem( childhood asthma).When I asked my dentist about what is casing my teeth to decay she said that I am getting the side effects of all the allopathic medicines and hospitalization of childhood. I am not alcoholic, I don’t eat chocolates(I don’t like them),nor do I drink soft drinks.As per my doctor’s advices I even started taking extra care of my teeth but now my one more tooth has started to decay! Plz !Plz!Plz! help me!!!! I don’t want my teeth to decay any more! I have habit of eating a lot of sweets! But I do clean my teeth after eating them( and even brush twice a day).Suggest me somethings to increase basicity of my mouth. I won’t eat sweets anymore!!! Reply as soon as possible its urgent!!

    • I want to tell you so many things but I’ll keep it to four!
      1. Eat and drink only 5 times a day – eat sweets as part of meals, and DO NOT eat them after or between meals. The same thing with drinks – even water! Drink and eat at meals and end with xylitol (if you live in the US – get Zellies!)
      2. Use Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste – nothing else – no whitening – no baking soda – plain old Cavity Protection Crest.
      3. Either use my Complete Mouth Care System (ideal) or at least rinse after brushing with ACT (or a dilute 0.05% sodium fluoride rinse)
      4. Do not drink or eat for at least an hour after you have cleaned your teeth – especially do not eat or drink before sleeping.

      • Hi, thanks for the reply! My doctor is an Homeopathic one. He has prescribed me -Gum Forte Gel toothpaste just two days before. Would this one be effective? And has even given me a liquid for rinsing before sleeping at night. I don’t know it’s name!

  10. I have Sogren’s syndrome. Assuming you are well-acquainted with this autoimmune disease and it’s potentially disastrous effects on teeth because of the dry mouth, would you have any modifications for, or reservations about, my using your Complete Mouthcare System?

    • I am sorry that you have to deal with the complications of Sogren’s syndrome. I have worked with many patients who have this condition and also with Scleroderma patients – a somewhat related condition. I do not suggest any modifications – except perhaps to go easy with the length of Listerine rinsing at first, because your teeth are probably quite sensitive. You may find either the mints or the gum preferable – and the flavors may be something you test and try to find the Zellie’s that you prefer. I also hope you are taking probiotics and paying attention to the benefits of a good diet that includes some butter and broccoli! (Here is a link to advanced advice about the system and how important it is to think about digestive health for mouth health: LINK

  11. I am having difficulty with adhesives holding my new dentures in place. I remember several years ago I tried a new lip stick that was guaranteed to stay on for 8 hours. It did not, so I took it back to the store. the sales clerk called the company and they said I probably had “acidic saliva” and gave me a refund on the lip stick. With that being said, I was wondering if the denture adhesives don’t stick and hold has anything to do with acidic saliva?

    • I am sorry but I don’t know anyone who has looked at this problem ….On the other hand, xylitol could be helpful – since it changes mouth pH and gets rid of acidity. Why not give Zellie’s mints a try and let us know how it goes? Good luck!

  12. I think I have a acidic mouth problem , when I eat anything containing sugar , after some time my mouth feels acidic it feels that until I rinse it with cold water or have ph control gum which is simple gum by extra which claims to increase ph. My teeth become yellow when ever I feel an acidic mouth

    • I’d suggest better quality gum – a kind of gum that really helps teeth…!
      Use this gum after every meal, snack and drink.
      Also check out the Complete Mouth Care System – and use this before you go to bed at night and also in the morning.

  13. you drop a lot of brand names, are you being endorsed by Crest?: You do realize they stick plastic balls in their paste and that’s lodged in patients’ gums and has caused problems

    • I get no endorsements – and very little support from dental professionals.
      My main supporters are patients who have suffered – often for decades and sometimes longer – but who finally realize they are empowered to enjoy sustainable oral health….with less cleanings and healthy gums and teeth.

      Please be aware the ONLY toothpaste I recommend is the original formulation of Crest – never the one with the plastic pieces in it…nor the Pro Health that contains stannous fluoride – a tin-based fluoride that I believe is toxic to healthy biofilm.I discovered which products work and which do not over 46 years as a clinical dentist – asking patients, which products they use to clean their teeth.


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