Human whole saliva has been shown to have protective effect against mineral loss of tooth substances in-vitro and in-situ and is accordingly recognized as an inatural protect mechanishm against dental erosion.
Salivary proteins: Human saliva contains more than 40 different proteins with different biological functions. A majority of the salivary proteins also have an ability to bind to tooth surfaces. Accordingly, the tooth surfaces are covered with acquired pellicle comprising many of the proteins in saliva and the pellicle-forming effect of salivary proteins serves as a protection for tooth enamel. It is, therefore, likely that salivary proteins under conditions where the saliva is theoretically undersaturated will significantly limit the development of erosion in the mouth. (Read more)
Other protective factors in saliva: Saliva also contains tooth-protective substances that are not of salivary origin. These substances mainly originate from drinking water, foodstuffs, dentifrice, and food supplements. The most common and important of these is fluoride. In Denmark, the fluoride concentrations in the drinking water vary between 0.01 and up to more than 3.00 ppm. Apart from the water source, most dentifrice used in Denmark contains fluoride. Several studies have shown that the erosive potential of soft drinks and acidic compositions can be reduced in the presence of fluoride. In contrast, the literature also presents the opposite view on the effect of fluoride on erosion, with some investigations finding only a limited protective effect of fluoride and others unable to find any effects. Collectively, most studies point towards a protective effect of fluoride against dental erosion, if present during a moderate acidic challenge.