Why Is Saliva Important to Your Dental Health?
Our Panorama City Dentist Breaks Down the Importance of Saliva for Your Dental Health
You already know that saliva is important for chewing, breaking down food into smaller particles and providing them with moisture that makes swallowing easier. What you may not know is that it plays an important role in your overall wellness. In fact, it is considered one of the most important fluids in the body, a kind of bloodstream for the mouth. See the breakdown below with the help of our Panorama City dentist!
Saliva is Composed of Many Helpful Minerals
Saliva consists of water, proteins, digestive enzymes for protein, fats, and carbohydrates, minerals like calcium, fluoride that keeps teeth hard, antibodies, and other substances. It is even checked in medical emergencies to help determine whether someone is going to survive and used to diagnose periodontal (gum) disease, as well as test for HIV and COVID-19. Research has been promising for using saliva in diagnosis of oral and breast cancer and viral hepatitis.
If your mouth is dry it generally means you are not drinking enough water, but are likely indulging in caffeinated or alcoholic drinks that cause dry mouth. Chewing more thoroughly will help generate more saliva and chewing gum can also stimulate production (ideally sweetened with Xylitol, which is low calorie, safe for diabetics, and actually fights oral bacteria). Chewing also helps clean the teeth and gums. Our Panorama City dentist highly recommends finding chewing gum that has the ADA logo on it, which means it is dentist approved!
Increasing Mouth Moisture
According to Johns Hopkins University, other ways to increase mouth moisture include having a humidifier where you work or live, spraying water into the mouth periodically, adding more liquid to foods such as soup, switching to alcohol-free mouthwashes, keeping nasal passages moist, taking laxatives (which draw water into the intestines and mouth), taking prescription medications to reverse dryness, and even acupuncture.
Schedule Your Visit to Our Panorama City Dentist
Our Panorama City dentist is, of course, an expert on all aspects of oral health. The American Dental Association strongly recommends that you have a full dental examination twice a year, since small problems can become big ones if not detected early in their development. About a third of Americans, however, do not even have a dental exam once a year, often because of unnecessary fear about dentistry being painful. In fact, there is a wide array of anesthetic options for any procedure, but the sooner you know the status of oral health, the quicker any problems can be addressed. If you have not had an exam recently, call us to set up an appointment as soon as possible.