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


Skip to main content

Our Patient Reviews

4.8/ 5.0

Based on 96 reviews

I've been going to Dr. Roberts for a couple of years now (after a long period of not going to any dentist), and she has helped to bring my quickly developing periodontal disease under control. The staff is always professional and friendly there and they constantly use the most up to date technology. Great dentist! Aaron A.
Dr Roberts and her staff always go the extra mile for their clients. I can't say it's ever really fun to go to the dentist, but she's outstanding and really cares about helping you have a heathy mouth, not just pretty teeth. Jeremy R.
Dr. Sarah Roberts and her team (all of them) have given me the best experience I have had with a dental office. I have moved around a bit and out of the 4 offices I have gone to in the last 15 years, this is by far the best. I highly recommend. Ryan D.

Read all reviews Write a review