Saliva is like the amniotic fluid for your mouth. It contains immune cells, minerals, and has a buffering capacity. However, the most importance quality of the saliva is PH. Most people I test are in the range of 6 to 7.5. A PH of 6.0 is acid forming and 7.5 is fairly alkaline. The ideal place to be from my perspective is to be around 7.0 which is balanced PH.
If you are closer to 6.0 this may be evidence of stress or diet imbalance. Often alcohol, sugars and heavy carbohydrate diets can push the PH of the saliva into the acidic range. I have seen the PH drop below 6.0, but it is not very common and usually the person was under unusual stress.
The three things I have seen have a positive effect on PH and inflammation are: lowering stress levels through activities such as meditation, yoga or Qi Gong; eating a high quality diet low in sugar and carbs and drinking water that has been alkalinized with minerals. (To read more about this see our future article on W is for Water).
I test PH in my practice especially when I see inflammation or bleeding in the gums around the teeth. The PH paper I use is usually available in health food stores as well. Acidity results in inflammation in the body and it is no different in the mouth. Saliva and its PH is paramount in maintaining health and balance in the mouth. An alkaline PH will help maintain healthy enamel and resist inflammation in the gums, also known as gingivitis.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.