Baking Soda Elevates pH and Reduces Inflammation

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has long been suggested for toothbrushing and as a tooth whitener.  Actress Julia Roberts reports following her grandfather’s advice to brush with baking soda for a brighter smile. Sodium bicarbonate dates back to ancient Egypt. The ability of baking soda to neutralize acids makes it an inexpensive home remedy for full body issues as well as the prevention of dental disease.

Ten patients ranging in age from 20 to 60 years participated in the study involving toothbrushing with baking soda. At baseline they were screened for hypertension, salivary flow, salivary pH, gingival tissue appearance and bleeding.
They were instructed to brush daily with baking soda instead of toothpaste. They were to put half a teaspoon of baking soda into the palm of their hand, wet their toothbrush with water and scoop up the baking soda with the bristles and brush their teeth.  They were also asked to add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water to make a mouth rinse. After rinsing, they were to spit out the baking soda water mix and not rinse with water. They were given pH
strips and asked to record the pH of their saliva upon waking up each morning and to record it on the form provided. Patients returned one to two weeks later. The\ group showed reduced pH scores over the test period and also reduced bleeding and signs of gingivitis.  Patients reported their mouths felt cleaner.


Clinical Implications: Baking soda is an inexpensive and readily available product for elevating salivary pH and reducing inflammation.

McKenzie, S.: Will Sodium Bicarbonate Change the pH Levels of Saliva and Reduce Gingival Inflammation? Action Research 9A-13, 2014.

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