You may not see saliva as something good- or useful. However, we feel that saliva gets a bad rap. In fact, saliva is a useful tool that your mouth relies on to fight tooth decay and gum disease. You need saliva as a germ fighter for your mouth to continue to be healthy. Do you have questions about why saliva is important? We have some answers for you.
What Is Saliva?
Saliva is a mixture of lots of different things: extra cells, epithelial cells from your lips, mucus, and anti-microbial fighters to help your teeth and gums. Saliva helps to break down food for digestion. But perhaps its most important function is to wash bacteria and food particles off your teeth and gums. In fact, the more saliva you have, the more food and bacteria is washed off.
People who do not have as much saliva, because of illness and medication, are at a greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
What Can I Do to Make More Saliva?
If you need to make more saliva, the first thing that you can do is to drink plenty of water. Water aids in the production of saliva, which means there will be plenty more saliva to fight off nasty bacteria. You can also use mouthwashes that promote the production of saliva. Make sure that the mouthwash you use doesn't have alcohol, because that dries out your mouth. You can also continue your dental routine of brushing and flossing regularly.
The next time you are in to see us, why not ask about what we can do to help you with saliva production? There may be several things we can suggest. If you have questions about saliva and what it can do to help your mouth fight bacteria, give us a call today. We love talking about fighting tooth decay and gum disease!