Is Saliva Important in Oral Health?

April 10, 2023
Is Saliva Important in Oral Health?

Saliva is crucial in maintaining oral health because it helps protect teeth and gums from decay and disease. The best dentist in Englewood, CO, is available to explain the importance of saliva in oral health, its composition, functions, and how to maintain healthy saliva production.

a baby needing to see a dentist in englewood co

What Is Saliva and How Is It Produced?

Saliva is a watery fluid produced by the salivary glands in the mouth. It comprises water, electrolytes, enzymes, and proteins, such as mucin, which gives it its sticky texture. The body produces around 1-2 liters of saliva daily, which is released into the mouth through ducts.

The Functions of Saliva in Oral Health

Protection Against Tooth Decay

Saliva helps to protect teeth from decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. It also contains calcium and phosphate ions, which can help to remineralize enamel and repair the early stages of tooth decay.

Protection Against Gum Disease

Saliva helps to wash away food particles and bacteria that can cause gum disease. It also contains antibodies and enzymes that can fight against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Protection Against Oral Infections

Saliva contains antibacterial enzymes, such as lysozyme, lactoferrin, and peroxidase, which help to protect against oral infections.

Common Conditions That Can Impact Saliva Production

Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva. This can be caused by several factors, including aging, medication side effects, and certain medical conditions such as Sjögren's syndrome.

How to Maintain Healthy Saliva Production

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help to keep the body hydrated and maintain healthy saliva production.

Chewing Sugarless Gum

Chewing gum can help to stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth.

Avoiding Certain Foods and Drinks

Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can decrease saliva production, so it is important to limit these substances.

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Looking for a Dentist in Englewood, CO?

Here at Sopris Smiles, we take tremendous pride in caring for families. We’re a one-stop shop for healthy, beautiful smiles of all ages, young and elderly. Contact us today to make an appointment.