How can the pH of my saliva affect my teeth?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Saliva production protects our mouths by bathing the teeth with invader-fighting antibodies and by keeping our mouth pH neutral. At a low or acidic pH, teeth demineralize and bad bacteria that cause gum inflammation thrive.

The natural pH level of one’s saliva hovers right on neutral in the range of 6.75 to 7.25. A slightly acidic pH can still foster a healthy oral environment. But below a pH of 5.5, teeth can demineralize, leading to a decrease in healthy bacteria and an increase in cavity-causing bacteria.

Having the right mouth pH is a key player in preventing disease. We encourage pregnant women and people on prescription medications that cause dry mouth to be more proactive about their oral health because these situations cause changes in the amount of saliva, which decreases the pH and can ultimately lead to cavities and periodontal disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.