Dental Erosion Linked to Low pH Levels

Our teeth are able to maintain their structure and resist dental decay because of their thin, outer layer of enamel. When the environment in our mouths has a low pH, however, tooth enamel begins to wear down. As studies continue to show, frequent consumption of popular low-pH beverages is contributing to dental erosion.

The acidity of substances is measured by pH, or potential of hydrogen, on a scale of 0 to 14. The higher the pH, the more alkaline (or non-acidic) the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline, it has a pH of 7, which is neutral.

tootherosion1Anything with a pH value (the measure of acidity) lower than 5.5 can damage the teeth. Studies show that low-pH beverages such as diet and regular sodas, sports drinks, carbonated drinks, flavored fizzy waters, fruit and fruit juices are harmful to teeth if they are consumed too often.

Here are the pH levels of some common/popular beverages (12 oz. serving):

Water 7.0 (neutral)
Milk 6.7
Barq’s Root Beer 4
Minute Maid® Orange Juice 3.8
Propel® Fitness Water 3.4
Red Bull® Energy Drink 3.3
Sprite® 3.3
Mountain Dew 3.3
Diet Coke 3.1
Sierra Mist 3.1
Diet Pepsi 3
Gatorade® 2.9
Sunkist® Orange Soda 2.9
Dr. Pepper 2.9
Mountain Dew AMP1 2.8
SoBe Energy Citrus 2.6
Pepsi 2.5
Coca-Cola Classic2 2.4
Battery Acid 3

The good news is that this acidity is cancelled out by calcium-rich saliva, which helps strengthen teeth and slowly restores the natural balance within the mouth. But if the acid attacks happen too often, the mouth is not given enough time to repair itself and the tooth surface is worn away. So it’s important that we try to reduce the frequency of consumption of acidic beverages.

Remember that good dental hygiene and regular dental checkups can help keep erosion in check before it requires costly treatment.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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