There is not a day that goes by without the production of saliva in our mouths. From helping us to swallow food to drooling in our sleep, we cannot escape it – and we don’t want to. Saliva is a biological part of our make-up. Saliva has many jobs; one being helping us to taste food. 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. Saliva never goes away, because we are constantly producing it. Salivary glands keep up the saliva production, and without saliva, we would not be as healthy. There are three main salivary glands, and they are located in the jaw, cheeks, and floor of the mouth.
The American Dental Association credits saliva as being important because it:
- Fights against cavities
- Washes away food debris
- Allows you to taste and swallow
- And keeps your teeth strong
All of the aforementioned keep us healthy and aid in our oral health. Without the production of saliva, our teeth would begin to decay and our breath would begin to smell badly. 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. With underproduction of spit, you could be experiencing dry mouth, which can cause oral hygiene 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.
While saliva can be gross or taboo to speak about, it is such an essential part of our lives. If you are feeling dehydrated and do not believe you are producing as much saliva as you should be, seek dental help.