Saliva has a crucial role in maintaining good oral health. This role is often overlooked. It may seem like nothing more than a liquid in your mouth, but saliva plays a vital role in protecting your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Let’s explore the importance of saliva in maintaining good oral health. Also, we will go over how to improve saliva production and quality.
What Is Saliva?
Saliva is a clear liquid that is produced by the salivary glands in the mouth. It is made up of water, electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds, according to Bionity.com. Saliva production is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. In addition, it is stimulated by the presence of food in the mouth.
What Is the Function Of Saliva
Saliva has important functions in the mouth, including:
- First, it lubricates and moistens the mouth to help with speaking and swallowing.
- Second, it washes away food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Third, it neutralizes acid while preventing your teeth from eroding.
- Finally, it provides antibacterial and antiviral properties that help to fight infections in the mouth.
Saliva is Important for Oral Health
Saliva is essential for maintaining good oral health. Importantly, it helps to protect against tooth decay and gum disease. For example, it does this by neutralizing acid and washing away food particles/bacteria. Saliva plays a critical role in digestion by breaking down food and starting the digestive process. For example, you may experience difficulty chewing and swallowing if you don’t have enough saliva. As a result, digestive problems can occur.
Factors That Hurt Saliva Quality/Production
Several factors can affect saliva production and quality negatively, including:
- Medications that decrease saliva production
- Aging and reduced saliva production
- Alcohol consumption
- Not drinking enough water
- Medical conditions that affect saliva production, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or radiation therapy
Maintaining Healthy Saliva
Maintain healthy saliva production by following some great tips. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the best ways to keep saliva flowing. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free mints can help to stimulate saliva production. Remember, make sure they are sugar free. Also, it’s important to avoid alcohol and tobacco. These can decrease saliva production and quality. Finally, you should eat foods that stimulate saliva production. For example, crunchy fruits and vegetables can be beneficial.
Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining good oral health, but it often goes unnoticed. It’s helpful to understanding the importance of saliva. Now it’s time to take the actions to maintain healthy saliva production and quality. As a result, you can protect your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. If you are experiencing dry mouth, it’s important to consult with a dentist or doctor as it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. We are located in Monroe, Michigan. Regain confidence in your smile and contact us today to schedule an appointment.