Why Saliva is Good

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Most of us know that dry mouth can be a bad thing, even if it’s only due to discomfort. There’s a very good medical reason, though, to make sure your mouth has enough saliva in it to avoid this. Next time you’re at a Tulsa teeth cleaning, ask your dentist and they’ll tell you that saliva is our mouth’s weapon against the dangers of food and bacteria. It works to destroy them before they can destroy our teeth. Saliva is overwhelmingly made up of water, but that tiny other fraction is full of useful things that help our oral health.

Things such as…

-Mucins, which work to lubricate the mouth. They facilitate speaking and chewing and even provide your enamel an extra coating of protection against the harmful effects of bacteria.

-Enzymes that help to break down food and antibodies that assault bacteria, protecting your mouth and facilitating your digestion. The two main enzymes present in our mouths are Lingual Lipase and Amylase. The first is responsible for beginning the digestion of fats and the second does the same for carbohydrates.

-Minerals that your body uses to maintain and restore your teeth. Calcium and phosphate are carried to your teeth via saliva and work to maintain the mineral integrity of your teeth.

-Saliva is also a necessary component of our sense of taste. Our tastebud receptors can’t recognize substances that aren’t in a liquid solution. Saliva serves this purpose and delivers the food to our tastebuds. It also bonds with and alters food substances before they reach the tastebuds. For instance, Amylase breaks down sugars and breads—changing the way they taste.

For more saliva

Saliva is 98% water. While it’s that other 2% that contains the really special components of spit, it’s the water that serves as the main delivery medium. As such, it should be clear why drinking more water can increase your saliva production. Our mouths also produce extra saliva while we’re eating. For this reason, we can trick it into producing more salvia by chewing on sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy.

There are also certain foods that can facilitate increased salivary production. Cayenne pepper, citrus fruits, apples, and hard cheeses can all help your mouth to create more saliva. When using these foods, it’s knowing that by no means do you have to eat the food raw, or on its own. Specifically, we’re talking about the cayenne pepper—most people aren’t going to enjoy eating raw cayenne pepper by itself. So don’t; try including it in a meal instead.

There’s more to it than spit

While spit is an essential component of our oral health, don’t let this fool you into thinking that your saliva is enough all by itself. In order to maintain good oral health, it’s essential that you brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and make sure to see a dentist twice-yearly. Schedule an appointment with Tulsa Modern Dental and get a Tulsa teeth cleaning.