What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?

Written by gemma argent
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What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?
Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Martin Kingsley)

One of the main duties of saliva is to neutralize acid in the mouth after eating. This neutral environment is necessary for a healthy mouth and body. There are several things that can make saliva too acidic.

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Sjögren's Syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the glands that produce moisture in the mouth. A dry mouth does not produce sufficient saliva, which means the pH of the saliva can become too acidic because there is not enough to dilute acids in the mouth.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can damage the salivary glands so that they do not produce as much saliva as needed. This can lead to saliva that contains too much acid.

What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?
Chemotherapy side effects can cause acidic saliva. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jenny Mealing)

Smoking

There are neutralizing agents like bicarbonate in saliva, but because smokers only produce about half as much saliva as nonsmokers, a smoker's saliva can easily become too acidic.

What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?
Smoking decreases saliva production. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jason Scragz)

Acidic Foods

Acidic saliva can be caused if too many acidic foods are consumed. Some acidic foods and juices include citrus like orange juice, grapefruit, tomatoes and carbonated beverages. Cutting back on acidic foods can reduce the acidity in saliva.

What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?
Tomatoes are very acidic. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of liz west)

Sugars

Sugary foods, whether candy, pastries or soft drinks, basically add a food source to the bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria thrive on sugar and create an acidic byproduct in the saliva. The more acidic the saliva, the more mineral loss in the teeth.

What Are the Causes of Acidic Saliva?
Sugary soft drinks can make saliva acidic. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Vox Efx)

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