The Benefits of Saliva
Saliva goes by many names: drool, spit, slaver, dribble, and other unsavory synonyms. It’s that clear, semi-viscous liquid in your mouth that builds up at times — especially when you anticipate a tasty meal. The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes its importance for maintaining oral health, calling it “the bloodstream of the mouth.” What exactly is saliva, and what does it do for us?
Specifications for Saliva
Saliva is a fluid secreted by glands in the lips, cheeks, throat, and other areas of the mouth. It is mostly water, but also contains electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, enzymes and minerals. Derived from blood, it shares many of the same properties. For instance, saliva helps to build and maintain the health of soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva moistens and breaks down the food we eat, washes away food and debris between teeth and gums, reinforces the enamel of our teeth, and prevents disease.
Our Yuba City Dentist “Listens” to Your Spit
Research continues to verify that saliva is an effective indicator of a person’s health. Too little saliva and the mouth suffers from issues like bad breath, dry mouth (xerostomia), tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease). Too much saliva also indicates problems, as the body produces larger amounts of saliva to fight off infections, or due to hormone imbalances. Since saliva is derived from blood, it is often tested to detect certain diseases like hepatitis and cancer.
Ask for Saliva By Name
When you come in to see us at the Yuba City Dentistry Group for your semi-annual checkup, we perform a complete examination on your mouth. One of the things we do is check to make sure your salivary glands are working properly. If your saliva indicates problems developing, we promptly inform you and discuss what can be done about it. Truly, your saliva is a helpful part of your oral health! If you have any interesting tidbits about saliva and its abilities, or would like to know more, please bring up the topic at your next visit. Let’s hear it for spit!