What is it? Why is it important?
- Why do a pH test?
- When to test your pH?
- How to test your saliva
- How to read the results
- What do the readings mean?
- What do you do next?
What is it
pH is an abbreviation for (potential of hydrogen).
pH is the chemical level of acidity versus alkalinity of any substance, pH and an Arabic numeral are used on a scale of 0 to 14. Zero is the most acidic, and 14 is the most alkaline. Seven is the perfect balance of the two ends of the spectrum and happens to be the pH level for pure water.The ideal ph of the mouth and body.
Why is it important
The adult human body is made of roughly 60 percent water. Pure water has a pH of 7.
In fact, the brain and heart are 73 percent water, muscles are 79 percent and bones, similar in make-up to teeth, are 31 percent.
It is therefore no surprise the human body requires a properly balanced pH close to water to survive and thrive. The human kidneys’ function is to not only filter out impurities from the cardiovascular system, but also to maintain the right balance of acid versus alkaline in the blood to maintain a pH level of 7.4.
How does pH relate to your Teeth and Gums?
Think of the human mouth as a watery ecosystem that, like the rest of the body, requiring a balanced pH that is ever so slightly alkaline. Healthy human saliva has a pH of 7.4, just like blood. When acidic foods and beverages are consumed, the pH is tipped, creating an imbalance that demineralizes tooth enamel. This happens when the pH levels in the mouth drop below 5.5.
Do you ever feel like your teeth are fuzzy? That is because the pH in the mouth is not balanced Plaque and biofilm are built up on your teeth.
When you drink soft drinks (pH 3) or white wine (pH 4 It is acidic, mixed with the plaque causing demineralization of the enamel.
The Simple Answer– for your mouth is…It will helps you prevent cavities.
If you are prone to getting cavities it is really important to test you pH.
Testing the Ph of your mouth is a quick and easy way to see how alkaline or acid you are.
If you have a neutral Ph in your mouth it is really hard for cavities to survive and thrive.
Robert Young* believes, the more acidic the body – the weaker it will perform and can contribute to allergies, fatigue, overweight & mood disorders.
Cavities happen when acids in the Mouth are high ….meaning below 5.5, they can also happen in the six – six and half range.
When to test
Wait 2 hours after eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.
It is recommended to test the pH at different times of the day and record the readings over a 30-day period of time to gain a bigger picture of your health, rather than doing a one time reading. Try and test under the same conditions each day, ie saliva first thing in the morning or before you go the bed just like brushing. If you test at these times test before you brush.
You really want to take note of what the pH is because you have to know what the environment is your mouth is doing, so you know what your course of action is going to be?
How to test
I use pH strips with a little code on the back, of the bottle or box, so you can use it to see what it measures.
Try to fill your mouth with saliva and then swallow. This helps remove any acidic bacteria that might be lurking. Do not rinse your mouth with anything else, or you will simply be testing the pH of the water/liquid you have just put in your mouth.
Personally, I don’t always follow the directions. I like to pool the saliva on my tongue then dip the strip in.…how you test is up to you. You can grab saliva all sorts of different ways.
- Spit some saliva on a spoon and then test the pH by dipping the strip into it. Non-bubble saliva works best.
- Scrape the areas you are going to test with a q-tip then wipe it on the strip.
- Make sure the test strip is sufficiently covered in liquid, remove and then wait 15 seconds (or the time indicated on the package instructions).
Reading the test
Reading the pH strip will give you an indication of how acid or alkaline you are.
- Match the color reading against the indicator chart that comes with the pH test strips’ packaging.
- Match, Record and Discard the used pH test strip within 1 minute as they are not stable and will continue to change. causing a false reading.
- Diet & lifestyle (stress, sport etc.) can influence the pH, causing fluctuations in readings, this is why consistency in testing the same time of day is recommended.
A reading of 7.0 – 7.5 is excellent for saliva.
What do the readings mean?
How can you achieve a pH Balance?
Balancing the pH of your mouth is one way to reduce bacteria that put a person at risk of weakening the tooth enamel and causing cavities.
Everybody is different and reacts in differing ways, there is no magic potion or recipe, that’s works… what is good for one person is not necessarily good for another.
You will need to learn to tweak.
This is not difficult or complicated. It is important to consume foods which have an alkalizing effect on the body.
Consuming foods that have a higher pH value, and are higher on the alkaline spectrum, will help in balancing the pH
This effect depends on the mineral content of the food. Alkaline foods are the foods that are good for us. They include fresh vegetables and foods with low sugar content. Bad for us are the obvious: sweets, coffee, tea, alcohol, smoking, meat, fast food and many dairy products.
Stress, tension, noise, lack sleep, and physical activity also contribute to the body’s acidic state.
Some are more susceptible than other to an acid environment. We should all aim towards maintaining a healthy diet. Don’t make it complicated, simply have a look at your plate. Is 70-80% of it made up of alkaline foods? And does the remaining 20-30% consist of acid forming foods?
So, choose your foods wisely,
I followed the Body Ecology diet for years; it was the best I have ever felt. I started following Donna Gates 20 years ago, back then it was harder to find foods. I had to travel 30 miles to the closest health food store.
These days eating healthy is easier. Most grocery stores carry the same foods I used to have to travel to get. Even though It is easier to find and get healthier foods and not as expensive as it used to be……it just is still not as convenient as fast food or processed foods.
I am guilty of going through driving thru, especially if I am in a hurry, which is most of the time these days. I used to be so much better about cooking and diet when my daughter was younger.
I am not living my ideal life at the moment! 2019 is my year to get back to basics. Breathe and eat how I know will make me feel good. Take the journey with me.
pH Testing is not only good for mouth health it is good for your gut and the overall health of your body.
pH balance can be achieved, and tooth enamel protected if habits on how and when certain foods and beverages are consumed are considered.
- Do not brush teeth immediately after drinking coffee, soft drinks, wine, cider, beer or fruit juices. Because the enamel is already softened by the acidity, thinning that protective layer surrounding the dentin.
- If you drink sugary soft drinks, do not sip it over an extended period of time or use a straw. So, it does not touch your teeth.
- Follow something acidic drink a glass of water to neutralize the pH 7
- Balance the acidic ingredients of meal with more alkaline ingredients.
- Finishing a meal with particular cheeses can also rebalance pH levels. Best suggestion is something with a pH of 7.
- After a meal or an acidic drink, chew sugarless gum, and if possible, it is best if it contains xylitol. The action of chewing gum encourages the mouth to make saliva, which over time will restore pH balance. Xylitol is believed to not only induce saliva production, but also prevent bacteria from clinging to tooth enamel. Xylitol is also used to treat dry mouth.
- Drink lots of water (pH 7) stay hydrated
There are a lot of websites you can refer to. I like to stick to the government sites they have the best guides and I can get information straight from the FDA’s list, because it is their job to inform the public and not sell a particular food or food product.
If you feel that you are having trouble balancing the pH in your mouth, it could be the sign of a more serious dental or medical condition. Constant bad breath that refuses to subside is an indication of a systemic disease. Consult your physician.
- *Robert O. Young & Shelley Redford Young, The pH Miracle
- **Christopher Vasey, The Acid-Alkaline Diet
- The Body Ecology Diet Donna Gates
- Disclaimer:The recommended products are supplements and are not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases. These opinions are based upon our own personal experience or information detailed in academic journals or other publications is cited.
- We provide this information for anyone who is interested in this subject but is not intended to replace proper analysis. We always recommend consulting your physician to discuss any test results.