Your saliva, commonly referred to as “spit,” does more than you think. The average person produces over 25,000 liters of saliva over the course of a lifetime, which is enough to fill two swimming pools. The abundance of saliva production, however, is not what is most fascinating and even magical about this oral liquid. Saliva plays some key roles in your digestion, dental health and overall well-being.
Here are some powerful reasons why you should appreciate your spit:
- Aids in Digestion: Digestion begins in your mouth and saliva plays a major role. Saliva not only helps dissolve and soften food, but it also contains digestive enzymes and acids that help break food down before you swallow.
- Supports Tasting: Your spit keeps your taste buds moist and active so that you can enjoy flavors to their fullest.
- Allows for Easier Speaking and Eating: We all know that too little saliva in the mouth created a dry and very uncomfortable environment. “Cotton mouth” makes it hard to speak and eat. Oral moisture helps your mouth function more comfortably and efficiently.
- Fights Bad Breath: A dry mouth is a leading cause of halitosis, or bad breath. Saliva helps wash away lingering bacteria on the tongue that can eventually result in foul breath odor.
- Helps Prevent Cavity and Gum Disease: Your saliva contains proteins and minerals that neutralize acids in your mouth and safeguard your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria and infection.
- Indicates Overall Health: Human saliva is 99.5% water. However, the remaining .5% of saliva’s makeup is gaining more and more attention. Research studies have found a positive link between certain bacteria in your saliva and both pancreatic cancer and stomach cancer. More and more medical conditions are being tested with a sample of saliva.
While your saliva levels may wax and wane depending on medications you are taking, your hydration levels, or your “fight or flight” responses, it is important to seek treatment if you find that you have a consistently dry mouth. At West Hill Family Dental, we understand the importance of treating low saliva production. Call today to learn more!