While saliva is a main component of your smile, you may not think about its importance, but once you understand the role it plays in your dental health, you may have a newfound appreciation. We have provided a review of the main functions of saliva to help you understand how it benefits you.
The salivary glands produce a mildly alkaline secretion known as saliva that is mainly made up of water. The important uses of saliva are to lubricate the tissues in the mouth to help you speak, make swallowing food easy, and reducing the risk of tooth decay.
When you have a dry mouth, you may find speaking and swallowing to be very difficult. Producing saliva provides your mouth with a natural lubricant that makes these functions easier.
Another use of saliva is to reduce the threat of cavities against your teeth since saliva neutralizes acids produced from plaque, dilutes the dietary carbohydrates in your meals, helps break down starches, and adds a layer of protective proteins to your teeth. Saliva becomes a natural antidote against cavities when it mingles with fluoride.
If you find you often have insufficient saliva flow, you can stimulate production by chewing sugar-free gum after you eat or taking an ADA-accepted artificial saliva, both of which can moisten the soft tissues in your smile.
We encourage you to contact McKay Center for Cosmetic and General Dentistry at today and schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Daniel McKay, DDS, if you have further questions about dry mouth and the benefits of saliva in Seattle, Washington.
Written by Daniel McKay, DDS
Dr. McKay is the dentist for the Seattle University athletics department. He is also a proud fellow of the International Dental Implant Association. Since 1993, Dr. McKay has established himself as one of the finest dentists in Seattle with praise from his patients and respect from his colleagues.