Your oral health is subject to numerous dangers these days. Cavities, gum disease, and dental trauma are but a few of the many issues that can affect your mouth’s integrity. The most common issue, and one of the most dangerous, is tooth decay, which has affected over 90% of adults in America in at least one of their permanent teeth. So what does this have to do with acid? Everything, as truth would have it. Sheridan family dentist, Dr. Coon, explains how acid is introduced into your mouth, and what it does once it’s there.
Sugar has a shady reputation when it comes to your teeth. It is largely (though not solely) the reason behind the formation of tooth decay. The problem begins when plaque, which consists mainly of oral bacteria, accumulates on your teeth and along your gum line. Among those bacteria are some that consume sugar and convert it into acid that depletes calcium and other minerals from your tooth (demineralization). Because your tooth enamel mostly mineralized, this process weakens your enamel and allows bacteria to reach the underlying layer of dentin and continue the process of tooth decay.
Some foods and beverages are naturally acidic and can pose a danger to your teeth’s health even without their sugar content. For example, soda, lemons, wine, and orange and other fruit juices all contain high levels of acid and can initiate demineralization without the assistance of bacterial metabolization.
Protecting Against Acid
The acidity of a substance, including the environment of your mouth, is measured on the pH scale, which ranges from 1-14. The lower half, up to seven, indicates an acidic substance, while the upper levels, from 7-14, equal an alkaline substance. A healthy human mouth likes to remain around 7.1, or slightly alkaline. Bacteria and acid, however, prefer the pH level to favor them, and actively work to lower it. Once the level drops below 5.5, enamel erosion begins and your teeth are in danger. You can help regulate your mouth’s pH level by controlling the amount bacteria available to create acid. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day inhibits plaque formation, limiting the amount of acid bacteria are able to produce. Limit snacking throughout the day; the more often you eat, the longer your teeth are exposed to acid.
Excellent Dental Health Care in Sheridan
To learn more about protecting your teeth from acid erosion, or to speak with your Sheridan dentist about treating tooth decay, schedule a consultation at Grinnell Street Dental by contacting our Sheridan dentist office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.