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Why is Saliva Important to Your Dental Health?

When it comes to oral health, saliva is an important factor to be considered. Saliva has a big contribution to preventing dental disease, protecting tissues, and helping digestion. Saliva is a liquid produced in the salivary glands located all over your mouth. The main six are found inside the cheeks, under the tongue, and near the jaw bone. The other minor glands are distributed evenly in the oral cavity to ensure a full perception of food’s taste, and to moisturize the tissues in the mouth. The salivary solution consists mainly of water, and 1% of proteins, which have a role in feeding the teeth, and protecting the enamel.

Functions

Saliva is of great importance in the correct functioning of the digestive system. As you take in the food, saliva helps your teeth to chew it, by moisturizing, and making it softer, so the teeth put less effort into breaking it down. In addition, a sufficient flow of saliva allows you to enjoy the taste of your food in its entirety. Also, the saliva “paves the way” of food to your stomach. It lubricates the tissues to help you swallow and ensure that the food passes easily through the esophagus.

Another function of saliva is protective. The fluid delivered by the salivary glands combats germs in your mouth. Bacteria and germs cause bad breath. Thus, the more saliva is produced, the more foul-smelling agents are killed, and the better breath you have. Also, saliva contributes to your dental health by providing protection, and preventing disease. The proteins that are found in saliva are very important. They make your teeth stronger and protect them against harmful agents. The nutrients strengthen the enamel, providing it with calcium and phosphates. It turns the enamel into a reliable shield for teeth against bacteria and damage from eating hard foods.

Saliva gives protection against decay, and helps minimize gum disease and infections. Also, it regulates the acid production, preventing plague, and defending against tissue damage.

Lack of Saliva

Saliva helps your oral system function at its best. If its production is reduced, you can face significant problems. Limited saliva production is generally known as dry mouth. Dry mouth is caused by a variety of factors.  One thing that causes dry mouth is the use of some medications, such as: appetite suppressants, antidepressants, blood pressure regulators. Other factors that bring about dryness of the mouth are:

– Depression

– Dehydration

– Smoking

– Chemotherapy

– Blocked salivary ducts

Dry mouth can result in bad breath, as well as swollen and sore tissues of the gums. The enamel falls prey to bacteria and harmful germs, making the teeth weaker, and less capable of crushing tough pieces of food. Also, since the tissues lack proper lubrication, you may have difficulty swallowing. Because of reduced moisture in the mouth, the chewing process takes longer, and you cannot enjoy the full taste of foods.

You can treat this disorder in several ways. The simplest way implies items that are always at hand, such as: water, candies, and chewing gums. Drinking water is very important to your overall health, not just your dental health.  Sucking on candies and chewing gum helps trigger saliva production.  For cases of chronic dry mouth, a visit to your dentist may be necessary.

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