From the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association:
Saliva helps maintain a neutral oral pH and provides a reservoir of calcium and phosphate ions to remineralize teeth. Saliva protects oral mucosa and teeth against harmful substances; lubricates the mouth to facilitate chewing, swallowing and speech; and reduces tissue trauma. Saliva contains enzymes, immunoglobulin A, lactoferrin, histatins and defensins, which provide local antimicrobial activity. Saliva also acts as a solvent to enhance taste and facilitate the initial steps in digestion.
Source: Gupta A et al., JCDA, November 2006, Vol. 72, No. 9 pg 841-846.
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)