Saliva is a biological part of our composition. Saliva allows us to taste food and makes eating easier, but why is saliva so important? Saliva is made up of proteins, enzymes, mucin, and electrolytes. While saliva includes all of these items, the main percent of the make-up is water. We have many salivary glands, making it continue to reproduce. Without saliva, we would not be as healthy as we are. There are three main salivary glands, and they are located in the jaw, cheeks, and floor of the mouth.
The ADA credits saliva as important because it
- Defends against cavities
- Washes away food debris
- Allows you to taste and swallow
- And keeps your teeth strong
All of these things are so important to our oral health, without saliva we would not be able to maintain our oral hygiene. It would cause our teeth to decay and our breath to smell bad if it did not wash away all of the left-over food. Saliva also helps to not speed up the production of bacteria. Bad bacteria in the mouth also causes serious problems such as tooth decay and gum diseases.
If you are under producing saliva, it is important to speak to your dentist. It is important to consult with your doctor when this is happening because dry mouth can cause serious oral issues. Stress, medication, and smoking are some things that may cause try mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth, try sipping on water, chewing gum and avoiding drinks with caffeine, as it dehydrates you. If none of these steps minimize your dry mouth, set an appointment with your doctor.
While saliva can be gross or taboo to speak about, it is such an essential part of our lives. Without saliva, we would constantly be sick and have massive problems with oral hygiene. If you are feeling parched and do not believe you are producing as much saliva as you should be, seek dental help.