Saliva 101

Saliva 101

Saliva is something that we all produce, and yet it’s something that most of us probably take for granted. The average healthy person produces approximately one quart of saliva each day. Saliva is produced by the salivary glands. There are hundreds of these glands in your . Saliva is 99% water. The remaining 1% of saliva’s composition, however, is packed with more than 60 substances. These include enzymes, proteins, and electrolytes.

Saliva is important, as it protects the oral cavity and facilitates oral functions. When saliva production is hindered, or when dry mouth occurs for some other reason, the loss of essential salivary proteins and electrolytes can accelerate dental decay and result in possible oral infections. Saliva does more than just moisten our mouths and assist with chewing and swallowing. Saliva also assists with other bodily functions.

  • Amylase, an enzyme found in saliva, helps to break down starches into maltose and dextrin. Amylase also signals the body to begin digesting fats, effectively beginning the digestion process. Without sufficient levels of amylase, digestion is compromised.
  • The calcium and phosphate that are present in saliva help promote remineralization. Reduced salivary flow thus reduces mineral availability.
  • Proteins found in saliva perform an antibacterial function, protecting your mouth against harmful bacteria and keeping bacteria levels in check. 
  • Saliva helps to neutralize organic acids, so not having enough saliva can actually lower your body’s pH.
  • Some scientific research suggests that saliva may also serve an immunological purpose in humans.
  • Saliva is good for our teeth. It protects both hard and soft tooth structures from potentially harmful drying.

Some people suffering from Xerostomia, or dry mouth, are at risk for nutritional deficiencies, out of control tooth decay, and even infection. This is why early detection of the condition is so important. Fortunately, dry mouth can be effectively treated using a high-quality mouth rinse. Prevention Everyday mouth rinse is a great way to combat the symptoms of dry mouth, while Prevention Antibacterial mouth rinse helps to control harmful fungi, bacteria, and viruses in the mouth without killing good bacteria.

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