what is importance pH in our daily life
Importance Of pH In Everyday Life
Do you know why it is advised to clean your mouth after consuming food?
Acids are produced in the mouth due to the degradation of sugar and food particles by certain bacteria. As a result, the pH of mouth is lowered.
pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale varies from 0 to 14. A pH value from 0 to 6.9 represents an acidic solution, whereas a pH value from 7.1 to 14 represents a basic solution. A pH value of 7 represents neutral solutions.
Tooth enamel, which is made of calcium phosphate, is sensitive to pH.It does not dissolve in water (neutral pH), but gets corroded when pH in the mouth is below 5.5.
Hence, tooth decay starts when the pH of mouth is lower than 5.5.
Do You Know:
Toothpastes used by us for cleaning our teeth are generally basic in nature. Hence, it can neutralize excess acid present in the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
Let us study the role of pH in our daily life.
All living organisms are pH sensitive and can survive only in a narrow range of pH.
the importance of pH in daily life are:
Are plants and animals pH sensitive?
Our body works within the pH range of 7.0 to 7.8. Living organisms can
survive only in a narrow range of pH change. When pH of rain water is
less than 5.6, it is called acid rain. When acid rain flows into the rivers, it
lowers the pH of the river water. The survival of aquatic life in such rivers
What is the pH of the soil in your backyard?
Plants require a specific pH range for their healthy growth.
pH in our digestive system
It is very interesting to note that our stomach produces hydrochloric
acid. It helps in the digestion of food without harming the stomach.
During indigestion the stomach produces too much acid and this causes
pain and irritation. To get rid of this pain, people use bases called
antacids. One such remedy must have been suggested by you at the
beginning of this Chapter. These antacids neutralise the excess acid.
Magnesium hydroxide (Milk of magnesia), a mild base, is often used for
pH change as the cause of tooth decay
Tooth decay starts when the pH of the mouth is lower than 5.5. Tooth
enamel, made up of calcium phosphate is the hardest substance in the
body. It does not dissolve in water, but is corroded when the pH in the
mouth is below 5.5. Bacteria present in the mouth produce acids by
degradation of sugar and food particles remaining in the mouth after
eating. The best way to prevent this is to clean the mouth after eating
food. Using toothpastes, which are generally basic, for cleaning the teeth
can neutralise the excess acid and prevent tooth decay.
Self defence by animals and plants through chemical warfare
Bee-sting leaves an acid which causes pain and irritation. Use of a mild base like baking soda
on the stung area gives relief. Stinging hair of nettle leaves inject methanoic acid causing burning pain.
Importance of pH in Our Daily Life
pH AND PLANTS
Plants require a specific pH of the soil for their proper growth. Plants cannot grow in too alkaline or too acidic soils. Therefore, for proper cultivation of crops it is important to have knowledge of the pH of the soil. If the soil is too acidic then its pH can be raised by adding lime (or slaked lime) which neutralizes the excess acid in the soil.
Similarly, if the soil is too alkaline then its pH can be lowered by adding gypsum or some other substance which can neutralize the excess alkali present in the soil.
pH IN OUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
The medium in our stomach is highly acidic and has pH around 1.2. Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid which helps in digestion of food. Sometimes the stomach produces too much hydrochloric acid. Excess acid in the stomach causes pain and irritation. It can also cause ulcers in the digestive system. The condition of excess acid in the stomach is referred to as hyperacidity. In order to treat hyperacidity, a patient is advised to take antacid tablets or antacid suspensions. The antacid preparations contain some mild base such as magnesium hydroxide as the active component which neutralizes the excess acid in the stomach and thus controls the pH in the stomach.
Mg(OH)2 + 2HCl à MgCl2 + 2H2O
pH AND TOOTH DECAY
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our body. It is made up of calcium tetraoxophosphate(V). It does not dissolve in water and mildly acidic solutions. However, it gets corroded slowly when pH in the mouth is below 5.5. When we eat food, some food particles remain sticking to the teeth. Bacteria present in the mouth produce acid by the degradation of sugar and food particles present in the mouth. This results in lowe1ing of pH in the mouth which promotes tooth decay. In order to prevent tooth decay avoid eating sugary foods. The mouth should be cleaned after eating food. Cleaning the teeth using toothpastes also helps in preventing tooth decay. Toothpastes are generally basic, therefore, they neutralize the excess acid in the mouth and thus prevent tooth decay.
The knowledge of pH also helps us in maintaining the proper acidity in many products such as shampoos, medicines, etc. pH of rain water can be used to detect the extent of certain pollutant gases in the atmosphere.
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