What Does Saliva do for Your Mouth?

May 24, 2018

While saliva is mostly made up of water, it is actually a magical substance that is meant to keep you healthy. Saliva not only keeps your mouth comfortable, it helps you chew, swallow, and digest your meals. It seems obvious to people that saliva is helpful when it comes to eating, but it is also actually designed to keep your mouth cleaner and free of bacteria.

Saliva is produced when you chew or when it anticipates food. Sucking on candy, and chewing can both help produce saliva. Here are some of the basic ways that saliva helps your oral health:

  • Keeps your mouth comfortable and moist
  • Assists in chewing, swallowing, and even tasting
  • Fights harmful bacteria
  • Prevents bad breath
  • Contains proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel, prevent tooth decay and even gum disease
  • Helps keep dentures in place

Saliva as Produced by Your Body

There are 6 major salivary glands in your mouth and many more minor ones. Your body can produce up to 4 pints of saliva per day! That just goes to show you how important it is. People produce a massively different amount of saliva daily from person to person. While under 2 pints of saliva a day for some people, others may regularly produce more than 4 pints. This makes it difficult to diagnose a problem with saliva production.

Too Little Saliva

Certain conditions can cause your body to produce too little saliva. Medications can also harshly effect how much saliva your body can produce. If you are left with a saliva deficit, your oral health will suffer. You will be left with uncomfortable dry mouth and will be more susceptible to gum disease, infection, and cavities.

If you suffer with dry mouth or an increased amount of cavities, give us a call to our katy family dentist and set up a consultation today!

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