Importance Of Saliva
When you come to the dentist for a cleaning or dental treatment, you may notice a member of our team holding a little suction device in your mouth. This device is helpful in removing excess saliva. Saliva, also known as spit, is necessary for maintaining your oral health. The main role of saliva is to help remove lingering food and bacteria from your mouth after you eat and drink. Saliva is mainly composed of water, but it does contain high levels of calcium and fluoride to help protect tooth enamel. Saliva also helps sores and cuts in your mouth heal faster. It is also helpful in:
- Preventing cavities and other infections from developing
- Breaking down food to make swallowing easier so your throat is not damaged
- Detecting certain illnesses
Chewing is the most common way to get saliva to start flowing in your mouth. However, you may also notice an increase in saliva when you smell or think about certain foods. Sour foods can also increase saliva production. Because sour foods are naturally more acidic, your body will make more saliva to protect your tooth enamel.
If you wake in the morning and your mouth feels like it is stuck together and full of cotton balls, you may be suffering from dry mouth. This is a condition when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Dry mouth is a side effect of many medications and can also occur for people who are mouth breathers. This condition can be dangerous because there is not enough saliva to coat the teeth and help remove harmful bacteria. The bacteria are left to linger on and between the teeth and around the gumline, increasing the risk of developing decay and gum disease.
If you are worried that you are experiencing dry mouth regularly or have any other concerns about your oral health, be sure to contact our office, which is located in Bowie, MD. We are happy to help you with all of your oral health care needs. We look forward to seeing you soon!