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The mouth has a few important structures (lips, teeth, tongue, cheeks), but we cannot forget that without the saliva all the others would go wrong.
We have various groups of salivary glands such as parotids, (whose infection causes parotitis or mumps), which is in front of the ear. There are also the sublingual and submaxillary glands, and then hundreds of tiny glands distributed throughout the oral mucosa.
Saliva lubricate the bolus, refreshes (for example when we drink something very hot), has antibacterial properties and helps the start of digestion from food because it has enzymes. An interesting property is its 'buffering' capacity, which means that when the medium is very acidic or very alkaline, saliva helps to counteract it.
As soon as you finish eating, the bacteria in the mouth begin to work, since they feed on the remains that are accumulated on the teeth, and between teeth. Such remains are metabolized and digested and as a consequence of the process the bacteria produce acids. These acids are those that demineralize enamel, and they are corroding it little by little, and that is what a cavity is.
Saliva plays an important role in preventing this from happening. First because a tooth covered in saliva is less prone to cavities. Thus, the upper incisors, which in many children are exposed to the air when the lips are at rest, are more prone to cavities. Air dries and causes plaque to adhere to the tooth, and if the lip does not rub against the tooth surface, and the saliva has no option to perform its cleaning function, that tooth remains dirty longer.
Children who breathe through their mouths or those who sleep with their mouths ajar have more cavities than those who sleep through the nose. In the same way, children who have no gap between tooth and tooth, which is normal, they are much more prone to cavities because saliva does not pass and cleans between teeth.
Diseases, and more commonly, medicines that change the composition or amount of saliva they also increase the risk of cavities, and this is what happens with bronchodilators and corticosteroids commonly used for the treatment of asthma and other bronchial diseases. That is why it is important after use to brush your child's teeth.
As we see, no 'acid saliva'. Acid is the medium in which that saliva appears. Saliva has a practically constant composition when it is secreted into the oral cavity, but if this mouth has bacteria processing food, that medium is already acidic. Just as the water in a river is 'acid' or not depending on the rocks in its path. The saliva will try to counteract this acidity. Let us bear in mind that for a mouth to be healthy, saliva is the great protective factor that must be present, and control all those variables that can modify the amount of saliva. A dry mouth is a sick mouth.
You can read more articles similar to Relationship between children's saliva and cavities, in the On-Site Dental Care category.