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Factors in Development, continued
Saliva
Saliva has several important properties that help to protect against caries:
 
Saliva buffers acid. The alkaline properties of saliva allow it to buffer acid and raise the pH, thereby decreasing demineralization.
 
Saliva is
Bacteriostatic: Causing inhibition of the growth of bacteria without destruction.
bacteriostatic. It contains many substances, including lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase, ß-lysin, and immunoglobulins, which limit the multiplication of oral flora.
 
Saliva aids in remineralizing the teeth by supplying calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to help construct enamel.

Decreased saliva production for any reason will promote the development of caries. The following are possible causes of limited saliva production:
 
Systemic diseases (eg, Sjogren’s syndrome)
 
Salivary gland damage from surgery or radiation therapy
 
Medication effects (eg, Glycopyrrolate or Anticholinergic medications)

Medications are the most common cause of decreased saliva production in children. Pediatricians need to be aware of this risk and choose medications carefully. When medications that cause
Xerostomia: Abnormal dryness of the mouth due to insufficient saliva production.
xerostomia cannot be avoided or a condition known to decrease saliva production exists, at-risk children should be screened more closely for caries.
 
 
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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