Saliva and Your Oral Health

Did you know that the average person produces over 25,000 liters of saliva in a lifetime? That is enough to fill two swimming pools! Clearly, there are important reasons why our bodies produce so much saliva. While some people have more than others, we all have saliva in our mouths. And your “spit” does far more than you think. While it certainly keeps your mouth from drying out, it also aids in digestion, helps you speak comfortably and supports your oral health. In fact, without proper amounts of saliva, your dental health may be in real danger.

Saliva helps break down food in your mouth when you eat and allows you to swallow more comfortably, these are critical steps in the digestion process. However, there’s another role that saliva plays towards your smile health. Not only does the extra liquid in your mouth help rinse off debris and bacteria from your teeth, but it also works to neutralize acids after eating and drinking. If extra bacteria hangs out on your tongue and the pH of your mouth stays on the acidic side of the scale, you’re more vulnerable to decay, gum disease and bad breath.

While saliva is made up of 99.5 percent water, the remaining .5 percent has sparked the interest of many researchers in the medical field. It is becoming more and more clear that your saliva can tell a lot about your health. For example, dentists may soon be able to use your saliva as a medical indicator for pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and even lung cancer.

At Soft Touch Dentistry, we monitor all aspects of your oral health, which includes your teeth, gums and saliva production. If you suffer from dry mouth, or xerostomia, you may need to be monitored more closely for gum disease and cavities. We can also recommend special products that are designed to increase saliva production. If you occasionally experience a lack of saliva, try increasing your water intake and chewing sugar free gum. Just remember – your spit is more important than you may think!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Thompson, Soft Touch Dentistry
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Soft Touch Dentistry

1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050