When it comes to maintaining optimal oral health, we hope you understand the importance of brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing every day. However, your body also has its own natural defense mechanism against dental issues such as tooth decay, bad breath, dry mouth, and gum disease: saliva. Because the vital role of saliva is often overlooked, today we want to talk about its many benefits!
- Protects Teeth
- Strengthens Enamel
- Aides Digestion
- Prevents Mouth Dryness
Saliva contains antimicrobial agents and enzymes that can kill disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, it helps wash the surfaces of your teeth clean before bacteria have a chance to feed on any sugars and starches left behind from the food and beverages you consumed.
Even though your tooth enamel is the hardest surface in your body, it can become damaged over time due to diet, trauma, and poor oral hygiene. Enamel does not regrow organically, but it can be strengthened through a process called remineralization. Saliva contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride that it deposits on weakened portions of your enamel. The addition of these minerals makes teeth stronger, more healthy, and less prone to tooth decay and cavities.
Did you know that digestion begins in your mouth, not your stomach? Saliva contains the enzyme amylase, which breaks down starches and other compounds. Saliva also makes it easier for you to enjoy your food as you chew and swallow by moistening it.
Many of us take saliva for granted, but a lack of saliva can cause serious problems. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth can raise your risk of developing an infection, cause bad breath, and be downright uncomfortable. Certain people are more prone to dry mouth than others, especially if they use tobacco, drink alcohol, or must take certain medications. If you want relief from chronic dry mouth, ask a team member at Toothology Dental for recommendations during your next visit.
Ask Us More Questions About Your Oral Health!
To schedule your next appointment or ask us any questions about saliva and your oral health, contact us today.