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The Importance of Saliva

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The Importance of Saliva

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While some may argue that saliva is unappreciated and that too much of it is just bas looking, the dentist community disagrees, as saliva plays many major roles in both your digestive tract and your mouth, too. Keeping a salivated mouth will help you keep your teeth healthier, and your digestive tract, too, and here are just some of the major reasons why:

Saliva as a shield to your enamel:

Saliva is made by the salivary glands, little organs in your cheeks, all around the mouth and it mainly consists of water, mucus, proteins, minerals and an enzyme called amylase. The salivary glands operate at their fullest when you are hungry, near food, or are otherwise engaged in thinking about food.  There are tiny tubes called ducts which transfer the saliva to your mouth. The saliva, which acts as an antibacterial shield, helps keep your enamel safe from any and all bacteria that you might have missed while brushing, which also means that it pushes any of the food that you might have missed. The saliva also has minerals that help rebuild the surfaces of the enamel and can also help neutralize the acids that have a tendency of breaking down that same enamel.

Are the salivary glands on vacation?

Well, they are not, technically, although there is a scientific term for the dry mouth and it is Xerostomia. There are many things that can lead to xerostomia, starting from the obvious ones, like lack of water, or dehydration, then to the less obvious ones like Sjögren’s syndrome and diabetes. There are some medications that also have a bad impact on the saliva, so you should check with your doctor whether some of the medications that you are taking are the negative ones. There are several bad things that can happen when you start having a dry mouth, caries, tooth decay and yeast infections to start with. The lack of saliva can cause problems with the digestive tract, as digestion starts in the mouth, the signals then being sent to the stomach to prepare it for the rest of the process. And, there is also the uncomfortable feeling of having a dry mouth.

Tips for getting rid of the dry mouth:

Make sure that you drink enough water during the day, and this is a statement that has been repeated countless times by doctors and dentists both, so it is a statement to be taken seriously. These can help keep your mouth salivated, and they go hand in hand with the lots of water from above, as both the candy and the gum trigger the salivary glands so that your mouth will be slippery and nice.

Visit your dentist often enough not to be sorry later:

The dentist will tell you to brush and floss regularly, and to go on regular checkup, in order for a potential problem to be spotted early. What is more, a dentist will tell you to avoid acidic or spicy and salty foods, as these can irritate the mouth further, to a state of being dry.