Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Saliva, your natural aid to good oral health July 10, 2013

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 7:42 am

Saliva is something we rarely think about and in fact, may just take it for granted.  But the saliva we produce daily is one of the more important components not only to good oral health, but good digestive health as well.  In the area of oral health, it has an important role because it:

-Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable
-Helps you chew, taste, and swallow
-Fights germs in your mouth and helps prevent bad breath
-Has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease

You have 6 salivary glands which produce about 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day.  You usually produce the most saliva in the afternoon and the least at night.  There are any number of problems or causes that may reduce the flow of your saliva, such as:

Too little saliva and dry mouth can be caused by:

-Certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and Parkinson’s
-Blockage in one or more tubes that drain saliva (salivary duct obstruction)
-Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
-Dehydration
-“Fight or flight” stress response
-Structural problem with a salivary duct
-Smoking cigarettes

There are also a large number of commonly used medicine types are known to affect saliva flow such as:

-Antihistamines
-Anxiety medicines
-Appetite suppressants
-Certain types of blood pressure drugs
-Diuretics (water pills)
-Most antidepressants
-Certain pain medicines (analgesics)

Saliva is an integral part of your oral health.  Make sure to ask your doctor about side-effects when taking new medicines.

If you have any questions about this or other topics concerning oral health, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

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