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Don’t Spit it Out: The Importance of Saliva 

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Don’t Spit it Out: The Importance of Saliva 

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Our bodies naturally make saliva. It is secreted into the mouth and helps with chewing, swallowing, and digestion. Without it, our lives wouldn’t be the same. Here is how saliva helps keep our teeth healthy, how you can produce more saliva naturally, and more! Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of saliva — and why you shouldn’t spit it out! 

Saliva and Your Oral Health

Your mouth has glands that make a clear liquid called saliva. Saliva, also known as your spit, is an important part of your health. Mostly made of water, it also contains important substances that help you digest food and keep your teeth strong. You make saliva when you chew or suck on things like hard candy. The salivary glands are responsible for creating the saliva, and they sit on the inner side of each cheek, at the bottom of your mouth, and near your front teeth, WebMD explains. There are six major salivary glands and hundreds of minor ones. Your spit then moves through tunnels known as salivary ducts. A normal person makes up anywhere from 2 to 4 pints per saliva each day, most of which is produced later in the day. 

Benefits of Saliva 

It’s important to know just how beneficial saliva is to your oral health. The biggest benefits of saliva include that it:

  • Saves your mouth. It works as a climate-control system, food dissolver, and digestive aid. Saliva contains powerful compounds that help you dissolve food as you eat and easily digest it afterwards. 
  • Prevents dry mouth. The older we get, the less saliva we produce. Some people experience xerostomia, or dry mouth. Dry mouth symptoms can make your tongue feel swollen, make it tough to swallow, and make it feel as though you have to forcefully push your spit down your throat. 
  • Protects your gums from bacteria. It has tooth-fortifying and germ-minimizing proteins and minerals that help lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It also helps fight the germs that contribute to bad breath.
  • Secures dentures. It helps keep false teeth secured into place, so you don’t have to worry about further denture mishaps as you grow older. 

Understanding Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is the result of not making as much saliva as you used to. It can be a common symptom of different medications, illnesses, and even a side effect of pregnancy. Dry mouth most commonly affects those older in age, approximately affecting 20% of the elderly. 

Dry Mouth Treatments 

If you aren’t producing as much saliva as you once did, there are things you and your dentist can do to take away the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with dry mouth. At home, try: 

  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol, which can dry out mouth. 
  • Chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow. 
  • Sipping on water often throughout the day. 
  • Talking to your doctor about changing your medications if needed. 

If at-home treatments don’t help with your dry mouth, your dentist can help. Dentists can prescribe gels, toothpastes, and mouthwashes that can help relieve your dry mouth. Seeing the dentist sooner rather than later can help you get on the road to leaving dry mouth behind you once and for all. 

Maintaining Saliva Flow and Good Oral Health

Maintaining saliva flow and good oral health can be done by having a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist often. At Mountain Aire Dentistry, our dentist, Dr. Robert Berry, can help assist you with your oral health routine. 

When you come in for a dental exam, Dr. Berry and our team will learn about your medical history to determine if any of your current conditions or medications are what is causing your dry mouth and any other oral health issues you might have. From there, Dr. Berry will gather his findings and complete his diagnosis, providing you with a treatment plan that will best fit your oral health needs. Sometimes, you might need to come back to the dentist for another procedure, however, sometimes all you will need to do is change up what you’re doing at home each day. 

Make an Appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry

If you are having dry mouth and trouble producing saliva, make an appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry today. With many years of dental experience, Dr. Berry can help accurately treat you and your dental health issues. Located conveniently in Broomfield, CO, we’re here for you. Make an appointment with our team by calling us today at (303)-731-7755.