Saliva test as a caries barometer

Our saliva has an important function in the mouth - it ensures a good climate and thus healthy teeth and gums. On average, one liter a day flows through our oral cavity. The saliva eliminates germs and stores important minerals that are needed to build up the enamel: eg calcium, fluoride, phosphate and magnesium. At its pH, the individual caries risk can be measured. This so-called 'saliva test' works quite simply: Saliva is removed with a special test strip and placed on a nutrient medium. In an incubator, the bacteria and bacilli multiply. Subsequently, their concentration is read. A large number of lactobacilli indicate the frequent consumption of sugar. Here, the saliva constantly fights against fermentation acids, which were formed by bacteria from the sugar. The saliva no longer manages to neutralize the acid and provide the teeth with minerals. The result: the enamel becomes soft and the caries risk increases.

Acid makes fun? Does not apply to teeth!

Another reason for a critically low pH may be the frequent consumption of acidic foods and beverages. These include citrus, cola, fruit juices and vinegar. The permanent direct action of acid can lead to erosion of the enamel. To prevent this or accelerate applies: After acid fingers away from the toothbrush - the soaked enamel could be brushed away with. Smarter is to wait 30 to 60 minutes and leave the saliva to the field. This neutralizes so-called 'buffers' the acid, and provides the teeth with minerals, that their enamel becomes hard again. The saliva test gives information about this 'buffering capacity' of the saliva. Further important information comes from the abundance of bacillus Streptococcus mutans, one of the most important causes of caries. If it is numerous, there is an increased caries risk. The saliva test is particularly useful for children to determine their risk before it comes to damage to teeth.

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