The Purpose of Saliva in Your Mouth

A component of your mouth that you may not consider very often is saliva, but once you are informed of its critical role in your oral health, we think you will consider it frequently. We invite you to learn more about the purpose of saliva and how it benefits your smile.

Your salivary glands produce saliva as a mildly alkaline secretion comprising of about 99% water. The three main functions of saliva are to lubricate your oral tissues when speaking, aid in swallowing your food, and protecting your tooth structure.

Speaking with a dry mouth is never easy, as you may have found. Saliva production acts as a lubricant for the oral tissues, enabling the function of speech to be smoother.

The production of saliva also helps to protect your teeth from tooth decay since it helps to dilute any dietary carbohydrates you eat, neutralize the acids from plaque, and remineralize your tooth enamel. When saliva coats the teeth, it provides a layer of protective proteins and aids in breaking down starches.

Saliva also acts as a natural antidote against cavities by working with fluoride to provide protection for the teeth against tooth decay. You can take steps to stimulate saliva flow following mealtime by chewing a piece of sugar-free gum. If your mouth often feels dry, you may find an ADA-accepted artificial saliva to be helpful in moistening your soft tissues in your smile.

If you struggle with a chronically dry mouth or are interested in learning more about the properties of saliva in Burlington, Massachusetts, contact Advanced Dental Care at 781-272-2875 and schedule a time to speak with our dentist, Dr. Christopher McGonigle.

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