Saliva is the transparent, watery liquid in your mouth that also contributes to your oral health in a big way.
Saliva Saves Your Mouth
Think of saliva as a climate-control system, powerful food dissolver and all-round digestive aid. Saliva contains powerful compounds that dissolve food as you eat and ensures that food is easily digested.
Saliva Protects Gums from Germs
Saliva has proteins and minerals that fortify and strengthen teeth, and minimise germs. This lowers the risk of tooth decay and gum problems. It also combats bad breath by keeping away germs.
Saliva Secures Dentures
Ageing is not without its challenges. But there is one less challenge, thanks to your mouth. Saliva keeps false teeth nestled securely in place, so we don’t have to worry as much about denture-related mishaps as we age.
Saliva Prevents Dry Mouth
As we age, we also produce less saliva. This is called dry mouth, or, in technical terms, xerostomia. Some dry-mouth symptoms can include the uncomfortable feeling where your tongue feels swollen. It can be tough to swallow and you feel like you’re forcibly pushing spit down your throat.
Dry mouth is an open invitation to germs, and germs flourish when saliva is scarce. This is why bad breath often accompanies dry mouth. It also increases the risk of gum problems, cavities and tooth decay.
While it’s more typical when we’re older, dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications and chronic conditions like diabetes, stress, smoking or even dehydration.
Keeping saliva flowing is an essential part of keeping your gums and teeth healthy. When your mouth is feeling dry, you can quickly produce saliva by chewing sugarless gum, eating something or drinking water. If you are taking any medications where dry mouth is a side effect, consult your doctor about ways to lessen its effects or ask if it is possible to switch prescriptions.