Saliva is essential for a lifelong conservation of the dentition. Various functions of saliva are implicated in the maintenance of oral health and the protection of our teeth: (i) The tooth surface is continuously protected against wear by a film of salivary mucins and proline-rich glycoprotein. (ii) The early pellicle proteins, proline-rich proteins and statherin, promote remineralization of the enamel by attracting calcium ions. (iii) Demineralization is retarded by the pellicle proteins, in concert with calcium and phosphate ions in saliva and in the plaque fluid. (iv) Several salivary (glyco)proteins prevent the adherence of oral microorganisms to the enamel pellicle and inhibit their growth. (v) The salivary bicarbonate/carbonate buffer system is responsible for rapid neutralization of acids. An overview is presented on the major antimicrobial systems in human saliva. Not only the well-known major salivary glycoproteins, including mucins, proline-rich glycoprotein and immunoglobulins, but also a number of minor salivary (glyco)proteins, including agglutinin, lactoferrin, cystatins and lysozyme, are involved in the first line of defense in the oral cavity. Besides, small cationic antimicrobial peptides, e.g. defensins, cathelicidin and the histatins, have come into focus. These are potentially suited as templates for the design of a new generation of antibiotics, since they kill a broad spectrum of microorganisms, while hardly evoking resistance, in contrast to the classical antibiotics.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.