It depends…

Your mouth has a delicate balance that it keeps with the pH of your saliva. Like I’ve wrote about previously too much acid in your mouth means that you’ll be more likely to get tooth decay. When our saliva is more basic the minerals tend to settle out of our saliva faster, that means that we get more of that hardened tartar buildup.

What I hope for is that everyone brushes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flosses at least daily and watches their acid intake and tooth exposure to sugars. But I know not everyone follows all those rules. Some people come in, they never floss but have no tartar buildup to speak of… but they always get cavities. Some people never floss, brush sometimes but never get cavities!… but then all of a sudden we’re telling them that they have periodontal disease and are losing bone. Why is this?

It has a lot to do with the balance of pH in your saliva!

People who tend to get cavities but not get any buildup on their teeth have more acidic saliva. So not getting any buildup is not necessarily a good sign (unless you’re actually really good at keeping your teeth clean). If you don’t get buildup but tend to get cavities then you should be taking extra steps to neutralize your saliva and add in more minerals. This involves, yes, using fluoride. But also doing things that will make your saliva less acidic, swishing with baking soda, avoiding acidic foods, eating foods that are good for your teeth such as hard cheese.

If you’re one of those people who never gets a cavity but tends to have a lot of stuff built-up on their teeth then it’s great that your saliva is more basic and tends to protect your teeth from decay. You’re just going to have to take care to not lose bone to periodontal disease. This means being really diligent about brushing and flossing, and never skipping your professional cleanings.

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