THE EFFECTS OF SALIVA
Did you know that saliva naturally protects your teeth and gums from bacteria in your mouth? Did you know that saliva is therefore an important ally in protecting against tooth decay and gum disease?
In what follows, we will highlight the roles that saliva plays in the prevention of mouth and teeth diseases as well as the roles it plays in the functionality of our body.
What is saliva and how is it produced?
Saliva is a biological liquid composed of water, proteins, electrolytes and mineral salts. It is produced by three salivary glands: the parotid, the submaxillary and the sublingual glands.
The amount of saliva produced each day in an adult varies between 0.5 L and 1.5 L and depends on several factors, such as the degree of hydration, the psychological and emotional state of the person, hormonal changes, the position of the body, the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, the consumption of drugs, the prolonged use of certain medications as well as the general state of health…
Indeed, saliva, which is an aqueous and transparent liquid, contributes spectacularly to the maintenance of a good oral health, thanks to its innumerable functions of control, protection, prevention and digestion.
How does saliva support good oral health?
Although saliva is an active agent in the digestion process and in maintaining a healthy environment around the teeth and oral tissues, many people are unaware of it. Here are the main roles of this natural liquid with many benefits, without which we could be exposed to many problems.
A digestive role: when we eat food, our saliva mixes with it to form what is called the alimentary bolus, which slides from the esophagus to the stomach. By secreting a digestive fluid, saliva actively participates in the digestion process and plays an important pre-digestive function. It thus participates in guaranteeing an optimal assimilation of nutrients by the organism.
A lubricating role: When we speak, we need to have a hydrated and lubricated mouth to be able to express ourselves correctly. This function is ensured by saliva, which lubricates the dental surfaces and the mucous membranes of our mouth.
A regulatory and protective role: saliva regulates and neutralizes the acidity in the mouth so that a certain balance is maintained. In this sense, saliva protects the dental enamel against acidic aggressions that cause cavities and fights bacteria thanks to its antibacterial properties. Due to its antibacterial properties, saliva protects us against many micro-organisms that could make us sick.
A role of healing and repair: Saliva is very effective in the healing of the oral mucosa, whether following an incident or asurgery.
A role of maintenance of dental prostheses: for people who wear prostheses, having a sufficient quantity of saliva is essential so that they remain well in place.
Because saliva is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth and teeth, it is essential to combat the lack of saliva that causes dry mouth. To do this, the dentists at Groupedentaire API recommend drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum and using alcohol-free mouthwash daily to stimulate saliva production.
If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, make an appointment with our oral health professionals. We will help you find the right remedy to help you keep a healthy smile!
Dr. Evelin Ingrid Radu, general dentist in Laval, fan of general and family dentistry
Dr. Radu has been practicing at Groupe dentaire API for over 10 years. She uses her gentle and human approach to help each of her patients have a pleasant experience at the clinic. She can serve her patients in 6 different languages.
Dre. Evelin Ingrid Radu