Understanding Tooth Decay
For many people, dental decay is about what is on the teeth. However, that is far from the truth since saliva plays a critical role in tooth decay and enamel erosion.
Saliva is central to the prevention of tooth enamel erosion and tooth decay since the teeth are living structures in the body. Acidic saliva poses a big threat to dental health. The quality of saliva has a role to play in preserving tooth enamel. Saliva that is too acidic will dissolve tooth enamel and create an environment for the harmful bacteria in the mouth. The longer that the mouth stays acidic means that the more the damage that happens to tooth enamel.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Oral Science tried to look at the role that saliva plays in the onset and development of dental erosion. Saliva plays a critical role in dental erosion. There are two roles: salivary flow helps to eliminate acids in the mouth through swallowing and through the buffering and neutralization of dietary acids.
Additionally, saliva is supersaturated with minerals such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride which are essential for the strength of tooth enamel. Saliva is therefore the biggest biological factor affecting onset and progression of dental erosion.
The useful properties and components of saliva that protect teeth can be developed into preventive measures by taking advantage of these benefits. Diet has a role to play in dental health with fruits and vegetables ensuring adequate supply of alkaline saliva.
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