The Importance of Saliva in Protecting Your Oral Health

The Importance of Saliva in Protecting Your Oral Health

Did you know that your saliva helps prevent oral disease? It’s true; your saliva works hard to protect your teeth and gums. If you find that you experience dry mouth, be sure to bring this symptom up with our dentist as it could put you at a higher risk for developing gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections.

Saliva is nature’s rinsing agent for our teeth and gums. Our mouths produce saliva to help keep our mouths clean. It also helps control the accumulation of plaque, which is full of harmful bacteria and contributes to the development of tooth decay and gingivitis.

One important factor that makes saliva a potent weapon against oral disease is its acid-neutralizing composition. When our mouths release saliva it helps combat acid attacks from cavity-producing bacteria. It also helps stabilize our oral pH after consuming something acidic like citrus or soda.

Although saliva is a key component to fighting acid, patients should still be mindful of what they eat and drink. Particularly acidic foods and drinks can still erode tooth enamel and weaken teeth over time.

Managing Dry Mouth

If you suffer with dry mouth, it’s important to understand that a lack of saliva could harm your oral health. Persistent dry mouth could be a sign of a diet that’s too high in salt or a side effect of common health conditions and medications.

The first step to combatting dry mouth is to increase water intake and decrease consumption of sodium. If dry mouth persists, we recommend speaking to our dentist at your next appointment. Our team can help rule out potential health concerns that affect saliva production. We may also prescribe oral rinses to help keep your mouth hydrated.

Dry mouth sufferers will need to practice vigilant oral hygiene to protect their oral health. This includes brushing twice a day and flossing nightly. We encourage patients to use hygiene products approved by the American Dental Association.

Call Kozlow & Rowell Dentistry to reserve a checkup, cleaning, or consultation with our experienced dentist.