Several proteins, such as lysozyme histatins, transferrin, lactoferrin, and lactoperoxidase, have antimicrobial properties in vitro.
Saliva also contains buffering systems, such as bicarbonate and low molecular weight peptides, which neutralizes harmful acid end products of microbial metabolism.
It is a moist environment through which microorganisms pass to distal sites if they are not able to adhere to or be retained on one of the diverse oral surfaces.
The mouth can be contaminated by any infected object it contacts, either intentionally or accidentally.
Certain proteins (mucinous and nonmucinous glycoproteins; lysozyme) have microbial agglutinating activity, which would foster the disposal of bacteria by the bathing fluid or competitively block access of bacteria to their natural binding sites on mucosal surfaces or on the teeth.