Saliva is probably not something you think much about, but the fluid actually plays a very important role in protecting your oral health. We know a little about saliva as your Castle Rock family dentistry, and we want to share with you why saliva is actually one of the most important fluids your body produces.
By now, most of us understand the reasons to brush and floss daily, and the need to schedule regular visits to see your dentist in Castle Rock. But what you might not know is how important saliva flow is to your mouth and to the health of your teeth and gums. To help shed a little light on what makes saliva so important, here are three reasons why saliva acts as your mouth’s secret weapon about tooth decay and gum disease.
Washes Away Debris
When we eat, debris remains in the mouth in the form of lingering food particles. Harmful oral bacteria known as plaque uses the foods we eat to produce corrosive acids that erode tooth enamel. The more food that remains in the mouth after eating, the more fuel plaque has available to attack tooth enamel with.
A healthy saliva flow helps to wash food particles away during meals. Your mouth actually produces more saliva during large meals such as lunch and dinner to thoroughly remove as much lingering food particles from the mouth as possible. If your mouth didn’t produce saliva, not only would you have a harder time eating and swallowing, you’d also have a much dirtier mouth.
Helps Neutralize Plaque Acids
The harmful acids that plaque produces sit on the surface of your teeth where they slowly erode away your tooth enamel. Saliva actually helps to reduce the damage done by plaque by acting as your body’s natural defense mechanism against the acids the bacteria produces.
Saliva neutralizes the acid and works to wash the substance away from the surface of your teeth. Saliva doesn’t eliminate all of the acid that plaque produces in the mouth even when your body produces a normal, healthy amount. Without saliva, the damage done to your teeth by plaque would be far more severe. Tooth decay rates would be significantly higher and our oral health much less healthier without the aid of this unsung hero.
Reduces Bad Breath and Keeps Your Mouth Moist
Another role saliva plays as your mouth’s janitor is that is removes the foul smelling oral bacteria that contribute to bad breath. The tongue is one of the most common areas of the mouth for odorous bacteria to accumulate, and a moist tongue works to flush these bacteria away so your breath stays smelling its best.
A sufficiently moist tongue also helps you speak without any difficulty. If you’ve ever suffered from bouts of dry mouth you know how much more difficult speaking becomes when your tongue feels dry and sluggish.
Now that you know the important role saliva plays in protecting your long-term oral health, you should take any decrease in saliva production as a serious matter. If you suffer from extended periods of dry mouth, you need to schedule an appointment with your Castle Rock family dentistry to have the cause of the condition determined. There are a variety of causes of dry mouth that can range from the mild to the more serious. Only by receiving an exam from our team at Glow can we determine the cause and find a cure for your issues with dry mouth.