It is common knowledge that brushing and flossing can help keep your mouth healthy, but not everyone is aware of the important part saliva plays in maintaining a healthy mouth. The average body produces between two and four pints of saliva every day. So what is it all used for? Allow your trusted dentist in Highland Park, IL to explain.
One of the primary functions of saliva is to help in digestion, In fact, saliva is part of what gets the whole process going. It is your saliva that begins breaking down food, helping you to taste, chew, and swallow. This is fairly well known, but it is some of the other functions of saliva that are the reasons your Highland Park, IL dentist, Dr. Kacel finds it to be so important.
Saliva helps maintain your oral health in a few ways. One reason saliva is a vital part of oral hygiene is what it is made of. Saliva has antimicrobial agents in it which help fight bacteria and protect your teeth. Additionally, saliva contains phosphate and calcium, both of which help to remineralize teeth and strengthen the enamel.
Another way saliva helps battle tooth decay is in the important job it does after eating or drinking. Saliva washes away debris and pieces of food that linger in your mouth after swallowing and could potentially get caught in your teeth. Not only that, it also can neutralize harmful acids that would otherwise begin breaking down enamel and causing cavities. In short, saliva plays a big part in making your next visit to the dentist in Highland Park, IL a breeze.
Some people have trouble producing enough saliva and are often left with dry mouth. If this is the case, Dr. Kacel your dentist in Deerfield, IL suggests chewing on sugar-free gum, sucking on sugar-free hard candy, or simply drinking a lot of water. At night we produce less saliva than during the day, so it is advisable to keep a glass of water next to your bed to sip on when you wake up in the middle of the night. This will help you battle the harmful bacteria that can build up overnight and can also help you preemptively battle bad breath in the morning.
If you are curious about other ways saliva helps you maintain oral health or would like to get answers to any other questions about any other aspect of oral health, reach out to Steven Kacel, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., F.A.D.I., and his friendly staff who will happily answer any questions you may have. Call (847) 457-0400 to make an appointment today.