Saliva plays a vital role in dental health. It is nature’s primary defence system for the oral environment, and is particularly important for protecting teeth. Saliva protects your teeth by neutralising acid, flushing food and bacteria from the oral cavity, and delivering calcium, phosphate and fluoride to our teeth.
But what happens when saliva stops protecting our teeth?
Basically, the oral cavity becomes more acidic. There is reduced buffering of acid, reduced clearance of bacteria and food from the mouth, and diminished re-mineralizing potential. An acidic environment can cause softening of enamel leading to increased wear and erosion. Such environment also favours the propagation of more aciduric and cariogenic bacteria, which increases the risk of dental cavities.
We offer a simple test to evaluate how well your saliva is protecting your teeth. Saliva’s effectiveness is influenced by several properties including flow rates, viscosity, pH, buffering capacity, diet and oral hygiene. We measure these properties to determine the effectiveness of your saliva and determine the answer to why the saliva is not protecting the teeth. With an understanding and recognition of the problem, appropriate lifestyle and oral hygiene changes can be made to move the oral environment back into balance.