When it comes to oral health, the pH of saliva plays an important but often overlooked role. In addition to its role in digestion, saliva acts as a natural defender for your teeth and gums, containing essential minerals that promote enamel strength.

Beyond its ability to break down food, the pH of saliva serves as an important indicator for your overall oral health. Checking your saliva pH regularly and maintaining a good balance can contribute to the overall well-being of your mouth.

What is the pH of Saliva?

pH, which means potential of hydrogen, is a scale that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, like saliva. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; 0 is highly acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is highly alkaline, or basic. The pH of saliva typically ranges between 6.2 and 7.6. It tends to be slightly acidic to neutral, and this range can change throughout the day depending on diet, hydration, and overall oral health.

Maintaining an optimal saliva pH is crucial because it directly impacts oral health. This includes safeguarding tooth enamel, influencing digestion, and influencing the entire environment within the mouth. Striking a balance in saliva pH isn’t just about numbers—it’s a fundamental element in preventing dental issues and ensuring a healthy and resilient oral ecosystem. 

The Role of Saliva in Your Oral Health

Saliva, often underestimated in its significance, plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal oral health. Beyond its primary function of aiding in digestion, saliva serves as a natural protector for your teeth and gums.

One of the critical roles of saliva is its involvement in maintaining the pH balance in the mouth. The pH level of saliva influences the acidity or alkalinity of the oral environment. A balanced pH is essential for preventing tooth decay and other dental issues. Saliva helps neutralize acids produced by bacteria which helps reduce the risk of cavities and enamel erosion. It also contains minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, that help contribute to the remineralization of tooth enamel, helping to strengthen and repair teeth.

Symptoms of Saliva pH Imbalance

ph of saliva

While dry mouth is a common symptom associated with pH imbalances in the mouth, there are several other health issues that may indicate potential concerns with saliva pH.

Tooth sensitivity

Persistent tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli can be a sign of pH-related issues, such as enamel erosion due to acidic conditions.

Cavities and tooth decay

Frequent cavities and tooth decay may indicate an imbalance in saliva pH, as acidic conditions can contribute to the demineralization of tooth enamel.

Gingivitis and gum disease

pH imbalances may contribute to an environment that grows harmful bacteria, leading to gum inflammation, gingivitis, or more severe gum diseases.

Oral thrushAn overgrowth of yeast in the mouth, known as oral thrush, can occur when pH levels are disrupted, creating an environment favorable for fungal infections.

Bad Breath 

pH imbalances can contribute to an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth, leading to bad breath.

Altered taste perceptionChanges in taste or a persistent metallic taste in the mouth may be linked to variations in saliva composition and pH.

Difficulty chewing and swallowing

pH-related issues can impact the effectiveness of saliva in breaking down food, potentially leading to difficulties in chewing and swallowing.

Factors Influencing Saliva pH

The pH of saliva is determined by several factors, like your diet and lifestyle. Understanding these influences can help you maintain a blanched and healthy oral environment.

Dietary habits

Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, sodas, and certain types of candies, can temporarily lower saliva pH. This acidity can contribute to enamel erosion and dental issues. On the other hand, a diet rich in alkaline foods, such as vegetables and certain fruits, may have a neutralizing effect on saliva pH.


Staying well-hydrated is essential for maintaining saliva production and a neutral pH. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in saliva production, potentially affecting its ability to protect against acids.

Oral health practices

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, like brushing and flossing your teeth, helps to support saliva in its protective functions, reducing plaque and bacteria build-up.

Time of day

The time of day can also play a role in the pH of saliva. Saliva tends to be more acidic in the morning and becomes more alkaline throughout the day depending on lifestyle habits.


Among the many things stress can affect is the pH of saliva. Chronic stress may contribute to imbalances in your oral health, causing the pH to change from its optimal range.

Medical Conditions and medicines

Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders can also impact the pH level of saliva. If you are taking medications that can cause dry mouth, you may also experience issues with your pH levels due to reduced saliva flow.

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle, adopting a tooth-friendly diet, and addressing any underlying health issues can collectively contribute to sustaining optimal saliva pH and promoting overall oral well-being. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor and address any emerging concerns related to saliva pH.

Getting the pH of Your Saliva Tested

ph of saliva

Testing the pH of your saliva can provide valuable insights into your oral health and overall well-being. There are a few different options to testing the pH of your saliva.

pH test strips

pH test strips are readily available at pharmacies or online. They are a cost-effective and convenient way to measure saliva pH at home. Follow the instructions on the packaging to get an accurate reading. Generally, the process involves placing the strip in your mouth for a few seconds and comparing the color change to a provided chart.

Saliva testing kits

Some companies offer saliva testing kits that provide a comprehensive analysis, including pH levels. These kits may include collection devices and detailed instructions on how to collect and send your saliva sample for analysis. Check with reputable providers to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the testing kit.

Talk to your dentist

The best way to have your saliva pH tested is by speaking with your dentist at a routine check-up. They will be able to measure it more accurately with specialized equipment and give you better insight to your overall oral health. If there are any issues with the pH of your saliva, your dentist will be able to make recommendations for treatment.

If you notice any persistent deviations from the optimal pH range (6.2 to 7.6), consult with your dentist or healthcare professional for further guidance and personalized recommendations to address any potential oral health concerns.

When to See Your Dentist About Your Saliva pH

Monitoring changes in your saliva pH is a proactive approach to maintaining good oral health, but there are instances when consulting your dentist becomes particularly important. If you have issues like chronic dry mouth, tooth sensitivity, or more cavities, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist — you may have an imbalance with the pH of your saliva.

Regular dental check-ups provide an opportunity for your dentist to assess your overall oral health, including your saliva pH levels. Contact Corner Dentistry today to schedule your appointment.