Saliva is a key component to the oral environment
since it plays a large part of anti-microbial
actions and also acts as a way to provide for bacterial
buildup on the teeth especially since it contains lysozyme
, an anti-microbial enzyme that helps protect surface
of saliva is strictly controlled by a bicarbonate buffer
ing system and is usually between 5.7 and 7.0, creating a relatively stable environment
. The higher the pH of the oral cavity
, the better the buffering capacity of the saliva. A low pH indicates susceptibility to the effects of acid production
. The pH of the saliva also affects the types of bacteria that inhabit the oral cavity since most bacteria have a small pH range that they are tolerant to.
However, saliva contains many nutrient
s that promote bacterial growth
and even with the antimicrobial substances, the presence of these and food from the host’s diet creates a favorable environment
Tortora, G.J., B.R.Funke, and C.L. Case, 2001. Microbiology: An Introduction, 7th edition. New York, New York.
Madigan, M.T., J.M. Martinko, and J. Parker, 2000. Biology of Microorganisms, 9th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.