The Importance of Saliva
What is saliva?
The saliva is a liquid found in the mouth. The saliva consists of water, mucus, minerals, proteins, and an enzyme known as amylase. Saliva is very important for good digestion, and healthy mouth. It is produced by the salivary glands, which a located around the lips, cheeks, tongue, and various other parts of the mouth. In order to keep the mouth moist, the salivary glands produce and release saliva into the mouth continuously. When you eat, the salivary glands are most active.
Fun Facts about Saliva
Do you know?
- You could possibly produce enough saliva that will fill up two bathtubs a year.
- Saliva helps to lubricate the mouth and safeguards teeth and gums.
- Saliva is important in food breakdown and digestion.
- The taste buds only recognize food molecules that dissolve in saliva.
- Saliva contains natural pain killers.
- With saliva, wounds in the mouth will heal much faster compared to other parts of the body.
- The production of saliva decreases anytime you are anxious, frightened, or nervous.
- Disease diagnosis can be done using saliva sample.
How Does Saliva Help Maintain Good Health?
Saliva helps maintain good health by protecting the gum against tooth decay and gum disease. Covering your teeth with a thin film of saliva will help in protecting your teeth and gum against bacteria. The saliva contains antimicrobial agents which kill off bacteria.
As saliva is released by glands, it will help in sweeping away small food particles which can bring about tooth decay. Saliva is also responsible for transporting minerals that help in rebuilding the enamel teeth surfaces. While you eat, the acid in the mouth can be neutralized by the saliva.
Furthermore, saliva aids in the digestion of food. Amylase, an enzyme found in the saliva helps in the breakdown of starch, starting from the mouth. The saliva makes food wet and soft. Hence, food morsels will be easier to swallow, as the saliva makes them slide down your throat easily.
Caring For Your Saliva
At times, your salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva. A situation like this is referred to as dry mouth or xerostomia, pronounced (ZEE-ro-stoh-mee-ah). Dry mouth is caused by certain health conditions like allergies, depression, high blood pressure, cancer, and so forth.
Being unable to produce enough saliva subjects you to gum disease and tooth decay. Having dry mouth makes you feel uncomfortable. You will find it hard to swallow or digest food. You can also become infected by yeast, bacteria, and fungus.
Some of the ways you can care for your dry mouth include:
- Dehydration causes a reduction in your saliva production. For this reason, you are advised to drink plenty of water daily.
- You can increase the production of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum. This is good for your teeth.
- Maintain good dental health by brushing and flossing daily. Talk to your dentist to prescribe the fluoride rinse or fluoride toothpaste which would be helpful for you.
- You can also spray your mouth with artificial saliva to keep your mouth moist.
- Avoid spicy, salty, or acidic foods. They can dry and irritate your mouth. Also, avoid drinking alcohol. Consume more of soft and smooth foods. Moisten your food using sauces or broth.
- Rinse your mouth with baking soda solution at least four times every day. This will help reduce bacterial acids causing cavities.
- Go for checkups and professional dental cleanings on a regular basis. Dry mouth signs will be easily spotted and prevented.
Choose Us as Your Dentist in Orlando
For good dental health and a healthy immune system, it is very important that you take adequate care of your mouth, including saliva, teeth, gum, and tongue. Orlando Smiles Inc. is your top rated dentist in Orlando, FL, offering you various ways of caring for your mouth.
As your Emergency Dentist Orlando, we will ensure that your gums and teeth are in a healthy state all the time. Notwithstanding the problem with your teeth and gums, our reliable dental care experts will be available to attend to you and offer you effective, long-lasting solution.