A General Dentist Explains the Importance of Saliva

A General Dentist Explains the Importance of Saliva from South Florida Dentistry in Miami, FLGood oral health does not just require strong, clean teeth; it is the result of numerous tissues and systems working together. Saliva plays a particularly important role in general dentistry. This fluid is essential for a healthy mouth and body.

The importance of saliva for dental and overall health

The human body is continuously producing saliva. In a healthy adult, it is normal to create anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 liters every day. This fluid is very complex and contains numerous essential proteins and enzymes for digestive, dental, and overall health.

Lubricating the mouth

The mouth requires consistent moisture to function properly. Saliva keeps the soft tissues of the mouth moist and comfortable. It also helps improve the sense of taste by carrying food particles more efficiently across the surface of the tongue. Saliva keeps food moist as it travels into the rest of the digestive system so it can be broken down more easily. It even plays a role in developing and executing proper speech patterns.

When a person does not produce enough saliva, they can develop a condition known as dry mouth. This can lead to serious discomfort, as well as bad breath and an increased risk for tooth decay. When there is not sufficient saliva to lubricate the mouth, general dentistry treatment is often necessary.

Fighting harmful bacteria

Saliva contains cells that are able to find and kill harmful bacteria. This helps prevent the bacteria from sticking to the surfaces of the teeth and forming cavities. Saliva can also help neutralize bacteria before they make their way inside the body, which means it acts as part of the defense system against illness.

Protecting tooth enamel

Saliva is full of beneficial proteins that have been shown to help protect tooth enamel. It forms a thin coating that can help repel and even neutralize acids and sugars, which break down tooth enamel and lead to decay and sensitivity. Saliva also contains many beneficial minerals that help strengthen tooth enamel.

Cleaning the teeth

Saliva consistently washes over the teeth and soft tissues to sweep away any foreign particles in the mouth. This helps keep teeth cleaner, which leads to less tooth decay.

Breaking down food particles

The mouth is the first step in the digestive system, and saliva plays a very important role in this step. It contains enzymes that break down food particles, especially starches, for improved digestion. This means it also helps dissolve particles that may become trapped between teeth or deep in the grooves of molars, making them easier to sweep away.

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Sufficient saliva production is essential for a healthy mouth and a healthy body. It performs a number of important functions, from aiding in digestion and speech to keeping the teeth and gums clean and strong. It can also help protect you from illness, infection, and tooth decay. Patients who are experiencing dry mouth should see a general dentistry professional for diagnosis and treatment to maintain dental and overall health.

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