Fun Facts About Saliva: Why Is It So Important?

Fun Facts About Saliva: Why Is It So Important?

by Shearly (SU)

What do we mean when we talk about food being "mouthwatering"?

We are talking about a specific food's power to stimulate the production of saliva, or spit. Upon smelling and seeing a delicious meal, even before we have tasted it, our bodies react by producing saliva in anticipation of the delicious experience.


Many people are often unaware of the importance of saliva to our well-being and the beneficial properties it contains. Saliva not only contributes to oral health, but also affects other functions of your body. Saliva may soon become a tool to help detect diseases such as viral infections, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.



Did You Know?



·       Saliva is produced by six major glands located in or around the oral cavity, and these can produce about 2 quarts of saliva in a 24-hour period.


·       Saliva washes away food and debris from teeth and gums, helping to prevent cavities and gum disease (gingivitis).


·       It keeps the surface of your teeth strong by providing small amounts of useful minerals such as calcium and phosphate.


·       It enhances your ability to taste and chew food and helps moisten and break it down for easy swallowing. It's also a first step in the digestion of your food.


·       Chewing is the most efficient way to stimulate salivary flow. It causes muscles to press the salivary glands and produce saliva.


·       The production of saliva can be affected by factors such as little sleep, dehydration, and anxiety, as well as many medications such as antidepressants or high blood pressure medicines.


·       When saliva flow is reduced, oral health problems such as tooth decay and other oral infections can occur. A continuously dry mouth may also signal a disease or condition in other parts of your body.





Saliva Power!


The use of saliva to detect diseases that could affect your general health is being studied. For instance, saliva has been used for decades to diagnose HIV, and detect the presence of drugs and alcohol in drivers.


Researchers say that soon your oral health professional may have the technology to detect diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer simply by testing your saliva. Based on the potential accuracy, ease of use, and low cost, salivary diagnostic tests may soon be available at the office of your oral health professional.


Your dental care professional can give you even more information about oral health and saliva. Together you can improve and preserve your oral health. Talk with your dentist about any concerns you have about your teeth, gums, or oral health when you go in for your regular check-up or cleaning.


Dr. Ari Binder and the friendly staff of 360 Dental Group in Eugene, Oregon provide dental health services for you and your family. Coming in for regularly scheduled cleanings and check-ups are a great way to ensure good oral and dental health for you and your family. If you would like to learn more, call (541) 689-1645 today.