Quick Facts About Saliva
Have you ever really thought about spit or what its purpose is?
We will be sharing some interesting facts about saliva in this article that will make you really love your spit!
Let’s get started with a few little-known quick facts about saliva.
- Potentially you can produce enough saliva to fill up two bathtubs per year!
- Saliva dissolves food molecules in order for the taste buds to recognize it.
- Saliva helps to regulate your mouth’s acid balance, lubricates your mouth and helps to protect your gums and teeth.
- Saliva is essential for breaking down food.
- Saliva may be analyzed for monitoring drug use, smoking, and alcohol intake. It may be useful as well in diagnosing various diseases.
- There are enzymes that are contained in saliva that get the digestive process started by help break fats and starches down.
- Saliva helps to heal wounds inside of the mouth more quickly than wounds anyplace else on the body.
- The production of saliva is reduced when you are scared or nervous.
- When you chew sugar-free gum it helps to increase the production for saliva and is beneficial for your teeth as well.
Why Dentists Love Saliva 🙂
Why are we dentists so keen on saliva? Saliva is the primary defense that the mouth has against tooth decay. Decay is the result of bacteria inside the plaque that produces acids which attack the minerals in your teeth. Saliva has buffering systems which help to counteract the formation of this acid. The flow of saliva helps to wash the food particles and sugars away that, when they break down, can start producing tooth-damaging acids as well.
For example, whenever you consume foods high in starch like bread, the carbohydrates that are contained in these foods block the natural flow of saliva and are not dissolved easily. To help to ensure the free flow of saliva throughout the mouth, there is an enzyme called amylase contained in saliva that breaks starch down into sugars that clear out the mouth and help to facilitate the flow of saliva.
Mineral salts that are contained in saliva – phosphate ions and calcium – slow down the demineralization of the tooth structure and promote continuous re-mineralization of your tooth enamel.