I am asked all the time about mouth acidity, and so I thought I would take the time today to talk a little more about the chemistry of our mouths.
Teeth are protected by our saliva. Saliva has a variety of different functions, including helping food go down–but it is very important for our teeth. Normally saliva is alkaline, with a pH of 7.2 or above. At this pH, the saliva encourages strengthening and the repair of teeth.
However, the alkaline saliva in one’s mouth may change and become acidic in a stressful situation (ever get that icky taste in your mouth?), or even with a simple health change such as a sinus infection.
Almost everyone develops a more acidic mouth as they age, or take medications. Testing your mouth acidity with pH strips will help you understand your mouth acidity, and learn to control it. You can use tooth-protective foods, xylitol or my special system (CWT) of over-the-counter rinses used in sequence with xylitol.
If you have more questions, feel free to leave them here.
Update on Mouth Acidity: Recently there have been news stories related to “Mountain Dew Mouth”– a condition of severe tooth decay brought on by heavy soda consumption. For more information read the Mountain Dew Mouth Blog Entry and the Mountain Dew Mouth / Mouth Acidity Page on the Zellies Website.
Dear Dr. Elle,I have been testing my mouth acidity and noticed that it is very acid 6.2-6.4 in the morning. My enamel seems to be wearing away and cracking so I wondered if there was any way to control this during the night.Thanks.Lin
Dear Lin, Mouth acidity can be caused by all kinds of things….foods and drinks ( even diet ones), acid-producing bacteria, even from a dry mouth and exhaled breath. The teeth of people who have acidic saliva are at risk for problems – but these issues are controllable – so don’t panic! Try to discover all the times during the day and night when your teeth are at risk from acidity( do you suck grapefruits, drink lemonade or apple juice , or maybe rinse with Listerine ?)These activities are all wearing to teeth unless you can protect the enamel from this acidic damage.The idea is that you don’t have to give up anything that you love – even if it is acidic . Your just protect your teeth with Zellies mints or some other xylitol product. Last thing at night and again in the morning I would suggest you use my three rinse system. This combined rinsing system will build super-strong and more acid resistant enamel on the outside of your teeth. Your will not believe how quickly your teeth improve! From a medical point of view body acidity is not good. Naturopathic doctors recommend cutting out refined foods and adding minerals and green vegetables to help alkalize the body. Xylitol is great at aiding calcium absorption and is also useful for alkalizing your body. So, you may want to start replacing sugar in your diet with xylitol and see if this is enough to help change your body pH. Let me know if you would like to discuss this some more.Don’t let your teeth fall apart. Consider the Complete Mouth Care Program and I believe you will quickly see a difference! Take care,Ellie Phillips,www.Zellies.comwww.CleanWhiteteeth.comDental Health for Everyone! 26 Corporate Woods,Rochester NY 14623585-272-1270
Thanks Dr. Ellie. I have been using the zellies gum for about a month and have just ordered the mouth rinses. I was told I have acid reflux although I don’t ever have hearburn or anything. I don’t really eat sugar or many refined foods, and have stopped coffee, tea, tomatoes, citrus etc, because of the reflux. It’s a mystery why my mouth is so acid. One question. Do you have to use the listerine or can that step be excluded?Thanks,LIN
Hi Lin,First of all- you need to give nature a little bit of time to work on your mouth! Two months of xylitol is good – but six months will give you better results. Be sure you are having enough each day – 6.5 grams is necessary at the start. Remember you can sprinkle it onto fruit or cereal to get an easy 4 grams into your diet. Spaced out is best and either mints or gum work great.In the mouth rinse program you can avoid Listerine if you feel you need to. I would prefer that you try to incorporate it into your routine – even if you dilute it with warm water – to half its original strength. Listerine really is a great mouth cleaner and it prepares the teeth for the ACT to work more effectively. The routine works in an amazing way if you use all the ingredients. If you leave one out or substitute you loose some of the effects.As for the acidity.: if you would like to spend five minutes or so on the phone we could run through your diet and see if we can figure out the problem. There is no mystery to dental disease – we just have to find out what is going on – and really it is easier to do that on the phone rather than by e-mail or on a blog.Call me if you can at 585-272-1270 and leave me a message with the best time for me to call you. FYI I am usually in my office on Friday afternoons!
Hello Dr. Elle,I am from India. My problem is that I often suffer from bad breath & indigestion. The teeth become yellow in colour & the tongue becomes white. Also when i breathe, very much hot air comes from my mouth. I cannot understand the reason behind all this. I do not have any tooth decay & my dentist informed that the problem is in my stomach. Is it because of Acidity?? but I do not have any heart burn either Please advice.Thanks a lot for your help.
Dear Dr. Elle,I am doing an assignment on saliva and I am stuck on one question 'How does diet and nutrition affect acidity in our mouths'. I hope you can help me out.Thank you.Caleb