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Factors in Development, continued
Saliva
Saliva has several important properties that help to protect against the majority of carious lesions:
 
Saliva buffers acid.
 
Saliva is
Bacteriostatic: Causing inhibition of the growth of bacteria without destruction.
bacteriostatic.
 
Saliva aids in remineralizing the teeth.

Decreased saliva production promotes the development of caries.

Possible causes of limited saliva production include:

 
Systemic diseases
 
Salivary gland damage from surgery or radiation therapy
 
Medication effects

Medications are the most common cause of decreased saliva production in children.

Pediatricians need to be aware of this risk and choose medications carefully.

 
 
The alkaline properties of saliva allow it to buffer acid, thereby decreasing demineralization.
 
Saliva contains numerous bacteriostatic substances.
 
Saliva aids in remineralization by supplying calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to help construct enamel.
 
Decreased saliva production promotes the development of caries.
 
Children with known or suspected decreased saliva production should be monitored closely by a dentist.
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