Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • April 2015
Written by 

The key to cavity prevention: pH in the mouth

Acid produced by bacteria in the mouth is the cause of cavities. Bacteria in your mouth is the plaque that you brush off your teeth and the tartar that your dental hygienist removes from your teeth at your regular cleanings.

The pH scale goes from 1 to 14, with 1 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline and 7 being neutral (like most water). A pH of 5.5 is an important pH level for teeth, as the teeth begin to dissolve or demineralize/break down at a pH in the mouth below 5.5.

Food and drink change the pH of saliva. Age may be a factor also, as children have an average saliva pH of 7.5, while adults tend to be more acidic, with a saliva pH of 6.5 or lower. There are some products too that have low pH levels, such as Listerine (from 3.4 to 3.5 pH) and Crest (3.6 pH), but Biotene has a pH of 6.2.

An “acidic mouth” contains chronic excess acid in the oral cavity resulting from frequent consumption of sugary foods or drinks high in acid content. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can also cause an increase in acid in the mouth and elevate cavity rate. Also, some fungi found on the roots of teeth can increase crib caries (cavities) in children.

To test the pH in your mouth you can use any pH strips that are used to test acidic items. Wait at least two hours after eating or drinking to ensure that the food consumed does not alter the test results. Cleanse your mouth by filling your mouth with saliva and then swallowing or spitting. Fill the mouth again with saliva and place a small amount on the pH strip. The strip will change colors based on the results.


Linda Schuelke, RDH

At Dr. Twohig’s dental office, we have a tooth cleaning powder that contains baking soda, xylitol, minerals and also a mint flavor that will help raise the pH in your mouth to a healthy level. So in your everyday brushing with the new powder you can keep you pH at a healthy, safe level for your teeth. We will be the first office in the north central United States to offer this tooth powder. We have trial size bottles for under $4 or a large bottle that could last up to a year for under $17. If you have questions please contact our office at [email protected], [email protected] or 920-867-3101.

Linda Schuelke, RDH, has been working for Dr. William Twohig D.D.S., for three years and has been a hygienist for five years. She enjoys the many challenges that this position offers and truly enjoys working in the holistic-focused dental practice. Twohig Dental is a natural and holistic dentistry practice in Weyauwega, WI. The practice is focused on treating patients naturally to reach whole-body wellness.

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