On 23/06/2014, Frank Strauss wrote:

> Aren't you glad you have a dentist lurking on this list? I would like
> to make two points concerning the use of saliva as a cleaning fluid.
> 1. Saliva is principally water, but may contain several things that
> are beneficial to the saliva producer, and is itself mechanically
> beneficial. Contents may include enzymes, beneficial bacteria, sugars,
> antibodies, to name a few. The concept that saliva is a good tooth
> cleaner is not valid. Enzymatic action is dandy for breaking down
> protein, but you may not have much protein either on your disk or on
> your teeth. 

I thought the main digestive enzymes in saliva were amylases, for
digesting starch (and other polysccharides ?) rather than proteins.

> Saliva bathes mouth surfaces, causing the benefits one
> might expect of bathing. If it was a good tooth cleaner, Colgate,
> Crest and Oral B wouldn't be in business. 

The existence of a popular product doesn't mean it is necessary.

> 2. This probably should be
> point 1. Saliva is a bodily fluid. In case the record and art
> conservators of the world aren't aware, bodily fluids are an issue
> these days. There are things in the saliva of some folks that you
> don't want on your record. Just one small example might be
> tuberculosis bacilli, which can live a long time. Bottom line, saliva
> is at best a contaminated fluid, and I would not be anxious to own a
> record cleaned with it.

Don Cox
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