Saliva: Not Your Average Spit

saliva

Saliva! Let’s talk about it! At Montclair Smile Design we know that the second you saw the title you thought What??! But it is so important for your oral health. Bet you didn’t realize it but it is actually a key factor in preventing gum disease, oral infections and tooth decay. No no no, this doesn’t mean you can skip brushing and flossing if you are extra saliva-y 🙂 Read on to see some of the reasons why your spit is super helpful and necessary for optimal oral health.

Why Your Saliva Matters

As we all know, bacteria love to live in our mouths. It’s a regular breeding ground (gross!) for these bugs. Our body does have some inherent and natural defenses against them though, and saliva is one. Your teeth are covered in a thin film of saliva that helps to prevent against the bacteria taking hold and making your teeth and gums their home. Just like any other place with stagnant fluids the same goes for your mouth. Free flowing spit can help prevent infections as well.

Individuals that have chronic dry mouth are more susceptible to tooth decay. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medications or medical treatments, or it can a symptom of a disease such as Sjögren’s syndrome. Your spit also helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth after you eat. It is also the first line of digestion as it contains the enzyme amylase that helps break down food.

What can you do to help with your saliva production? Great question!saliva

  1. Hydrate hydrate hydrate! Drink plenty of water. Dehydration makes itself known pretty quickly by dry mouth symptoms.
  2. Chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free mints. Here is one that we recommend: Spry
  3. Avoid super salty foods that will dry out your mouth.
  4. Don’t neglect your dental visits! Maintain regular hygiene visits and ask us about any concerns that you may have.

Still have some questions? Here are a few sites that are very helpful in answering more questions about your saliva.

American Dental Association

Delta Dental 

Feel free to contact or call us at 510-339-0277 if you have any questions or post a comment below!

 

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