Oral History

Dr. Phillips:

I was looking for litmus papers on ebay and found the following ebay listings for Pebeco Toothpaste from magazines published in 1919. Interesting that it was known back then that acid mouth was harmful to teeth. And, it mentions being examined by your dentist two times a year–says nothing about a “cleaning” twice a year! Also mentions how important “health saliva” is to your teeth.

Bedford, PA

Dear R:

Thank you so much for thinking of me.

Yes – this piece of history about oral health is fascinating isn’t it – I am copying my web host to put it my blog!

In fact, in the 1940s when the study that gave sugar a demon value was done in Scandinavia – the results were clear.

Sugar consumption caused a drop in mouth pH and it was this acidity that caused damage to teeth.

When that study was presented to me at dental school in the 1960s – my immediate reaction was – OK well what about other things that cause acidity in the mouth?

Not long ago a hygienist with dental problems ( lots of new cavities every year) was taking with me.

I asked her “why” and she said it was just her family bad luck and the reason was “unknown”.

Five minutes later I discovered that she went to bed with a diet soda every night (pH of 2) and she was a mouth breather.

If our dental health educators have missed this link – how can they help patients?

I always wonder why so little information is released from the ADA about the dangers of mouth acidity.

Could there be any relationship to this omission and the fact that CocaCola is a key sponsor of the ADA?……

Thanks again for the link.

Best Wishes,


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