If you haven’t tried Kombucha, you probably know someone who has, or have seen it advertised at your local deli or coffee shop. So, what is this drink with the funky name that seems to be one of the latest crazes?
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a drink made by fermenting black or green tea using bacteria and yeast. It is then sweetened and/or flavored resulting in a fizzy probiotic drink. Many people praise about its suspected health benefits. Adding the fermentation process to tea packs it with yummy things for your gut biome such as probiotics, enzymes, and organic acids along with the naturally occurring antioxidants. People say it helps with decreasing bloating, as well as assisting with weight loss, increasing energy, and enhancing moods.
Because of the fermentation process, the not-so-acidic tea becomes a drink that has a high level of acidity. For comparison, water has an average pH level of 7, which makes it a neutral substance on the pH scale, while tea has a pH level of about 6 and vinegar has a pH level of 2. What the pH scale measures is the acidity or alkalinity level in a water soluble substance. Kombucha must have a pH level below 3.5 to prevent harmful bacteria from growing, making it a very acidic substance on the pH scale. Unfortunately, acidic substances are not friendly to your tooth enamel. Here’s what your San Marcos Family Dental Office has to say about it.
The Importance of Tooth Enamel
Your tooth enamel is the protector of your teeth. Think of it as a coat of armor for teeth. Once that enamel is gone, it doesn’t grow back because it isn’t a living substance. Your tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in your body. Acidic substances are like the kryptonite to your enamel because the erosion caused by those substances are its biggest weakness. Your mouth is already a place full of bacteria and when you introduce acidic substances, especially ones containing sugar, those bacteria go crazy and start attacking your tooth enamel.
What You Can Do
Does this mean you can’t drink kombucha or munch on a handful of blueberries? No, you just need to know how to neutralize your mouth bacteria. Acidic substances are not instantly bad for your enamel. They have to mix with your mouth bacteria and go through a chemical process before they start attacking your enamel. In order to prevent this attack, you have to neutralize your mouth. Some ways to do this include eating foods that are lower in acidity with your drinks that are high in acidity.
Some foods with low acidity include cheese, nuts, oatmeal, eggs, and whole grains. Another way is to rinse your mouth with water as soon as you are done eating and drinking. If you aren’t sure about certain foods or drinks being okay for your teeth, be sure to contact our Dentistry in San Marcos as soon as possible. When you neutralize your mouth, it isn’t as likely to get to the level of acidity where your enamel is attacked.
If you need your daily dose of kombucha, just be sure to drink it with some foods lower in acidity or give your mouth a swish with some water after you finish drinking it. Try to find kombucha with lower sugar content. Kombucha isn’t meant to be savored and sipped. It’s purpose is for health benefits, not for flavor. Drinking it quickly will reduce the amount of time it takes for you to be able to restore the pH levels in your mouth to a more neutral state. Taking these steps and seeing your dentist regularly will allow you to keep the health benefits of kombucha while reducing the possible damage it could do to your teeth.
Wondering how healthy your teeth are right now? Contact the office of your San Marcos dentist Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. to set up an appointment today.