Ever take a moment to think about how
GREAT your saliva is? Probably not. Saliva has an all-important role in your
oral and digestive health.
Saliva Has Many Important Functions
Our bodies make two to four pints of saliva a day. That means that
over a lifetime, a person will create enough saliva to fill two swimming pools! So, why is saliva important? Well, there’s more than one answer
to that. Besides allowing us to give wet willies or make spit wads when
we were kids, our saliva has many important functions.
saliva aids in digestion. It begins the process of breaking down food and helps us chew, taste and
swallow. In fact, without our spit, we wouldn’t be able to taste at all!
saliva is essential to maintaining our oral health. Our spit contains antimicrobial agents that protect teeth and defend against
bacteria. It also contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate that
remineralize our teeth, strengthening the enamel.
Your saliva plays an especially important role after eating and drinking. It washes away that extra food and debris left in your mouth that contributes
to decay. It also helps neutralize the acids created by bacteria that
break down enamel and cause cavities. Thank you, saliva!
Some People Do Not Create Enough Saliva
Some people have a condition called
dry mouth, where they aren’t producing enough saliva. Certain illnesses and
medications can cause dry mouth, and those who have it are more prone
to tooth decay and gum disease as a result. For those with and without
here are some tips to increase saliva production and protect your teeth:
Saliva Works Around the Clock to Protect Our Smiles
- Chew sugar-free gum, especially after meals
- Suck on sugarless candy
- Drink plenty of water
Saliva may just be the unsung hero of our oral health. It is constantly
strengthening and defending our teeth against bacteria, decay and dental
disease. At the end of the day, all we can say is that our bodies are
amazing and our spit is awesome!