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My school textbook makes the following claim:

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This means that saliva must be basic. However, I learnt that the pH value of saliva is about 6.8, which would surely make it acidic. How can the above point be correct then?

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    $\begingroup$ even if an acid is 6.0, it's reaction with other acids depends on the quantity, so a lot of the mild acid can react with an amount of the stronger acid. $\endgroup$ Jul 25, 2023 at 8:31

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Saliva is neutral, not acidic (6.8 is very barely acidic), and is a means to carry the acid away physically, and is also much less acidic than acid produced by bacteria, so is still effective in neutralizing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also substances with higher pH can act as bases against substances with lower pH. If I remember right, alcohol acts as base when warmed with carboxylic acid in esterification reaction. Enzymes are very sensitive to change in pH so that probably reduces bacterial activity. youtu.be/UGs0hrIkjss $\endgroup$
    – Aurelius
    Jul 25, 2023 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Saliva also has anti microbial properties and might kill bacteria or hinder their growth. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_licking $\endgroup$
    – Aurelius
    Jul 25, 2023 at 19:40

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