Saliva and Cavities, Friends or Foes?

It has been proven by dental research and clinical studies that a determining factor in the development of cavities in patients can be linked to their saliva. By testing and studying the pH and other factors in patient’s saliva, it is probable to determine that patient’s propensity to developing cavities. If you have suffered from problematic cavities throughout your life, wouldn’t you have liked to know ways to help detect the possibility of cavities from an early age?

Saliva protects teeth by clearing bacteria and buffering acids found in the mouth, this is saliva’s most important function. In other words, saliva helps protect teeth by flushing and neutralizing acid and bacteria. Everyone’s mouth and saliva pH is different. In some people, saliva is the number one factor in preventing cavities; in others saliva actually encourages the development of cavities. Usually when it comes to saliva, more saliva is better.

Individuals that have higher levels of saliva production are better able to wash way or clear the teeth of cavity causing properties. If you suffer from dry mouth or limited saliva, you may have a higher incidence of cavities. Proteins found in saliva are what make saliva a friend or foe to your teeth. The protein in saliva helps form pellicle on the tooth’s surface. Pellicle is critical in protecting teeth from acid. Certain proteins found in saliva actually help bacteria adhere to teeth, even teeth covered in pellicle. If you produce saliva with high levels of bacteria adhering proteins, you are more likely to develop cavities. It is becoming more and more evident that the more a dentist knows about an individual’s saliva makeup, the better they will be able to develop a personalized cavity prevention plan.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts


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