Minimizing The Amount Of Acid In Your Mouth

Dental decay occurs when the tooth material dissolves. The dissolution process takes place when the tooth enamel is exposed to acids. Teeth are made up of minerals that dissolve in an acidic solution. Even teeth that are left in acidic beverages, such as orange juice or soda, suffer dissolution. Nonetheless, most instances of dissolution or decay occur because of bacterial acids.

The bacteria in the mouth consume simple carbohydrates that remain in the oral cavity after you eat or drink. As these microbes digest their food, they produce acidic waste products. As the bacterial acids contact the tooth material, they dissolve it, causing cavities or holes to form in the tooth structure.

Here is a bit of information about how you can minimize the amount of acid in your mouth.

After You Eat or Drink an Acidic Substance, Rinse Your Mouth With Water

After eating or drinking an acidic item, the concentration of acid in your mouth may be quite high. The higher the concentration of acid, the more damaging the acid is to the teeth. Saliva can help dilute and neutralize some of the acids. However, a quicker way to dilute and rinse away acids is by swishing your mouth with water.

Water has a neutral pH and can quickly increase the pH (or make it more alkaline) when added to acid. The water can also help rinse away carbohydrate material that may serve as food to oral bacteria, further protecting the mouth from acid damage.

Use an Antibacterial Mouth Rinse

An antibacterial mouthwash contains ingredients that kill bacteria. Often, these mouth rinses include alcohol or chlorhexidine. Both ingredients are effective as antimicrobial agents. However, alcohol can dry out the mouth. 

Since saliva helps with acid neutralization, a decline in saliva production can increase the concentration of acid in the mouth. Thus, many dentists recommend mouth rinses with Chlorhexidine instead of alcohol.

Limit Your Consumption of Simple Carbohydrates

Since simple carbohydrates, such as table sugar, feed oral bacteria and incite the production of acid, you can limit the amount of acid in your mouth by decreasing your simple carbohydrate intake. It is best to limit sweets and starchy foods. Even though starchy items, such as chips and pretzels may not have a sweet taste, they break down into simple sugars in the mouth.

To learn more about ways to protect your teeth from acid damage, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area. 

Visit the office of a provider like Mark A. Massa, DDS, Inc for more info.