The Importance of Saliva

salivaryThere are many things about your body that you take for granted and don’t question. Some things are easy to overlook like the importance of saliva. How many people think about their saliva? Why would they? Throughout your daily life there seem many more important things to deal with than your saliva. There is no reason to question why it is there or what it does as long as there are no problems right?  In today’s blog, your Sheridan dentists, Dr. Cody Coon, Dr. Justin Coon, and Dr. Donald Coon, explain the importance of saliva.             

What is Saliva?

Saliva is the watery liquid in your mouth made by your salivary glands. Saliva is important for the effective functioning of your oral cavity. Although over 98 percent water, it also contains important electrolytes, glycoproteins, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds.

Why is it Important?

Saliva is important because the percentage of enzymes, minerals, and proteins, although small, perform important tasks such as:

  • Breaking down food for digestion
  • Moistening your food so it is easier to chew and swallow
  • Cleaning your teeth
  • Fighting harmful oral bacteria
  • Remineralizing enamel to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease
  • Moistening your mouth so your oral cavity is comfortable and performs effectively

Dry Mouth

The average person produces 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day. Saliva is continuously being released from your salivary glands when your tongue touches them, when you chew food or gum, and when you suck on hard candy. Issues can develop from not producing enough saliva such as:

  • Oral discomfort
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease

Causes of Dry Mouth

The production of too little saliva can be due to:

  • Medications
  • Diseases such as Parkinson’s , diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and HIV/AIDS
  • Smoking
  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • A blocked or structurally damaged salivary duct

About your Sheridan Dentists

Dr. Coon wants to make your dental appointment as worry-free and comfortable as possible. If you have any questions about your appointment, or to schedule a visit, call Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY at 307-672-7567.