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The Importance of Saliva in Dental Health

April 12, 2015

When it comes to dental wellbeing, many people think about their gums and teeth. But did you know that saliva plays an important role in maintaining good oral health?

 

When it comes to oral health, saliva clears away bacteria on your gums and enamel, which can cause disease and infection – so it’s a significant component for preventing cavities! Saliva helps to break down food that is lodged in your teeth and also remineralises your teeth with calcium and phosphates.

 

What is Saliva?
 

Saliva is produced by your salivary glands and is made up of 99.5% water. The other .5% is made up of several components, including electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds. Saliva helps lubricate your food, making it easier to chew and swallow and enhances your taste of food!

 

Dry Mouth?

 

The less saliva you produce, the higher the risk of decay. Sjogren’s syndrome can sometimes cause saliva deficiencies and the reduction of saliva is called Xerostomia, which means dry mouth. Xerostomia is the result of aging or changes in hormone levels. If you are suffering from a dry mouth, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss treatment options.

Icon Dental Top-Teeth Tip: By chewing sugar-free gum your saliva actually will be more effective in buffering bacteria and keeping your teeth mineralized and healthy!

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