How Your Spit Affects Your Oral Health

Your spit probably doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal, but it actually is. While nobody gives much thought to their saliva, our bodies would not be able to function well without it. Saliva plays a particularly important role in maintaining your oral health. Keep reading to find out more.

Why Does Saliva Matter So Much?

Your spit actually helps you fight off both tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva cleans out your mouth by washing away small bits of food, thus making sure your teeth do not erode. In addition, saliva neutralizes acids that could cause decay.

woman drinking water at the river to keep her saliva protecting her teeth

But that’s not all. It turns out there are even certain ingredients inside of your saliva that both protect and strengthen your teeth. For example, antimicrobial agents inside of your saliva can help fight harmful bacteria. Meanwhile, spit also contains minerals that can help strengthen the enamel surface of one’s tooth. Finally, there’s an enzyme in saliva that allows you to digest your food by breaking it down and softening it.

What Happens If I Have Dry Mouth?

Some people suffer from dry mouth which can affect the processes discussed above. Cancer treatments, medications, diabetes, and more can reduce your ability to produce enough saliva. As a result, you’re very likely to suffer from infections in your mouth and more. Thankfully, there are some ways to combat dry mouth:

  • Drink water everyday.
  • Chew on sugar-free foods such as sugar-free gum, which can actually help you produce more saliva.
  • Avoid foods that are salty, spicy, or acidic as these can dry out your mouth further. You should also be careful with alcohol as it can have a similar effect.
  • If possible, try to eat primarily smooth or soft foods as this can help you make more saliva.

If it’s time for a checkup—or if you just want to learn more about spit—be sure to contact us here at Smiles Dental and set up an appointment today!

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