We already know that maintaining a healthy, balanced pH in the mouth prevents cavities. Your natural oral environment discourages decay, and keeps your enamel strong. Between inherent defenses like saliva and positive oral bacteria, you possess built-in weapons against caries. But there will always be external factors that detract from your health, and we’re interested in finding more diverse ways to keep them under control.

A new study from the University of Florida found that introducing a new strain of bacteria could help keep the bad ones from causing harm to teeth. While scientists already knew that certain compounds help neutralize problematic oral acids, they weren’t sure how or why. They’ve now discovered which bacteria best breaks down those compounds, triggering a neutralizing effect. Introducing that bacteria into the diet as a probiotic could help boost oral health and keep the mouth at a healthy pH, and also disrupt the formation of dental plaque.

Taking a pill to stop cavities is pretty appealing, but while we’re waiting for this to be developed, there are many other options for daily disease fighting. Learn more about what you can do today to see fewer cavities in your future, and get in touch if it’s time to check your teeth for disease. We offer some cavity prevention tools that you won’t find at every dental office, and we’d love to share them with you.

Your Tooth Decay Defenses

While our nation’s oral health is continuing to improve, cavities are still a big problem. In 2011-2012, cavities affected 92% of adults between the ages of 20-64. That’s a staggering percentage, and one we want to do everything possible to lower - after all, cavities open the doorway to more serious oral health issues, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Keeping your pH at an enamel-friendly level gives your teeth a chance to avoid erosion, and remain decay-free. Acid begets acid, as bad bacteria present in the mouth feed on it and also create it. Understanding the underlying acidic issue helps patients make big strides forward.

Common Causes of Frequent Cavities

If you’re more accustomed to your dental exams turning up cavities than confirming the all-clear, it’s time to try something different. Depending on your daily habits, your dental history, and your personal oral health, the cause could be one of many. Dr. Okamura will help you narrow down the possibilities so that you receive targeted, effective treatment.

Common triggers of decay include

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Drinking acidic beverages throughout the day
  • Dry mouth (not enough saliva in the mouth)
  • Not drinking enough water (which rinses away bacteria and acids)
  • Poor nutrition

What You Can Do for a Healthy Oral pH


Eating right is always one of the best bets for a cavity-free smile. Instead of introducing sugars and starches to your teeth, you’re providing them with essential nutrients and potentially even “brushing” away existing plaque (some fruits’ and vegetables’ crunchiness can have a cleansing effect).

Great oral hygiene is the next foundation for happy teeth. Brush and floss regularly, and you’ll remove plaque and bacteria and keep your enamel intact. If you don’t like your current dental products, ask for recommendations so that we can find ones that work for you.

If you’re hoping to get some professional help, options like fluoride treatment, CariFree pH stabilizers, and sealants will boost your enamel’s defenses. We care about our patients’ teeth and want to see them disease-free, and are always expanding our arsenal of cavity-fighting weapons. Just contact us to learn more about which one might be right for you.

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Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.