The quantities of calcium and phosphorus in saliva bear no significant relation to caries. The average pH of saliva of pregnant women is 0.2 lower than of saliva from other patients. In six weeks, distilled water (pH 7) removes enough calcium phosphate from an extracted tooth to produce white spots on the enamel.
Salts of various alkali metals (capable of producing in aqueous solution a pH above 9.5) are very efficient solvents of acid-mucin masses deposited on teeth by the action, on soluble mucinates in saliva, of lactic acid formed by bacteria in the mouth. Removal of these deposits with a mucin solvent and a brush aids in preventing caries by dislodging, in whole or part, the bacterial colonies in these closely adherent films. Any nitrogen-containing organic compound that produces in aqueous solution a pH above 9, and forms soluble mucinate, acts as a practical solvent for insoluble acid-mucin deposits on teeth. Complete or partial removal, by the combined action of a mucin solvent and a brush, of mucinous films that harbor acid-forming bacteria that bring about initial lesions in tooth enamel tends to overcome localization of bacteria, thus helping to prevent caries.
References: J. Am. Den. Assoc. (with H. E. Friesen), 1926; J. Am. Col. Den., 1939.