|Your dental health is important, and our patients' safety is our top priority. Please read our office update letter on COVID-19.|
Posted on 12/30/2018 by Dick Hikade, DDS
|Saliva is a naturally made substance that does more to benefit the overall health of your teeth than you may realize. Without saliva, your teeth would be extremely more susceptible to the ravages of gum disease and bacterial infection.
Also, your teeth would slowly break down and crack over time due to the stresses of chewing up food without the moistening benefits of saliva.
In a lot of ways, saliva can almost be compared to a rudimentary circulatory system for your mouth. Saliva nourishes your teeth with nutrients, fights off gum disease and protects your teeth while you eat. The thought of saliva might make you feel uncomfortable, but it is actually an invaluable substance when it comes to teeth protection.
The Basics of SalivaSaliva is essentially an extremely a basic form of blood. Although saliva is very basic in structure, it is made up of several different substances. Saliva is mostly made out of water. It is also made out of various minerals, proteins and even mucus. The most active ingredient in saliva is an enzyme called amylase which breaks down starches in food when you chew.
Saliva is created in the salivary glands, which are small organs. The salivary glands are located in your mouth in your cheeks, tongue, lips and near the jawbone. When you chew, smell food or even think about food, the salivary glands are activated. Salivary ducts carry saliva from the salivary glands and into your mouth.
How Teeth Benefit From SalivaSaliva moistens food considerably as you chew it. Without saliva, chewing would be a much more physically demanding process on your teeth. Saliva helps to wash away germs and bacteria after you brush your teeth and floss. As saliva flows around your mouth, it carries proteins and minerals from your blood stream to your teeth's enamel, strengthening them.
Keep Your Mouth Well SalivatedStay hydrated by drinking water. Chew sugar free gum to help activate your salivary glands. Try not to eat spicy, salty or acidic foods too much as they dry out your mouth. Drinking too much alcohol dries out your mouth as well. Keep your mouth well salivated and saliva will take care of your teeth.