Saliva Is Everything When It Comes To Dental Health

Saliva pH alkaline acidic nutrition health fruits vegetables

Most dentists don’t tell their patients about the importance of saliva alkalinity in dental health. They don’t tell you that alkaline saliva (7.0-7.4 pH) is central in preventing tooth decay and erosion.

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Decay Isn't About What's On The Teeth

Dental decay has always been about what is on the teeth, and not in the teeth. However, saliva is one of the most important and least discussed parameters in the protection against erosive wear.

“The main perception of dentist and dental schools is that sugar and acids sitting on the teeth are the cause of tooth decay.” according to Holistic Dental Care by Nadine Artemis. The teeth are a living structure and saliva is central to avoiding decay. What is more, acidic saliva can be a threat to your teeth. According to Artemis, “The quality of salvia, can remineralize or demineralize teeth.”

“If the saliva is too acidic, it dissolves the enamel on your teeth and creates an environment that supports bacteria. The longer the mouth remains acidic the more damage is done to the enamel.”

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Researchers Look Into Saliva Theory

A review was conducted and published in the Journal of Applied Oral Science. Researchers looked at the role of salivary factors on the development of dental erosion.

Research On Saliva and Dental Erosion Was Collected

A search was undertaken on MEDLINE website for papers from 1969 to 2010. The keywords used in the research were "saliva", "acquired pellicle", "salivary flow", "salivary buffering capacity" and "dental erosion". Inclusion of studies, data extraction and quality assessment were undertaken independently and in duplicate by two members of the review team. Disagreements were solved by discussion and consensus or by a third party.

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Saliva Plays An Important Role In Tooth Erosion

Several characteristics and properties of saliva play an important role in dental erosion. Salivary clearance gradually eliminates the acids through swallowing and saliva presents buffering capacity causing neutralization and buffering of dietary acids. Salivary flow allows dilution of the acids. In addition, saliva is supersaturated with respect to tooth mineral, providing calcium, phosphate, and fluoride necessary for remineralization after an erosive challenge. Furthermore, many proteins present in saliva and acquired pellicle play an important role in dental erosion.

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Saliva Central In Avoiding Dental Erosion

The research concluded that saliva is the most important biological factor affecting the progression of dental erosion. Knowledge of its components and properties involved in this protective role can drive the development of preventive measures targeting to enhance its known beneficial effects.

More: What Your Dentist Isn’t Telling You About Your Saliva

Diet Essential To Healthy Saliva and Teeth

Previous studies have shown that diet is highly essential to dental health, especially when it comes to alkaline saliva and healthy teeth. Eating a better diet involves taking in significantly more plant-based foods that are higher in biocompatible carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables and significantly lowering acidic foods such as animal products. At the very least 3-5 leafy greens and 5-7 fruits per day is recommended. Not only are these foods highly hydrating, they help provide an adequate supply of alkaline saliva to help protect teeth.

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