Our smiles reflect the health of our teeth and gums but they also reflect the health of the environment in our mouths. Saliva production is key to a healthy smile because this clear, watery liquid protects your teeth and gums. Secreted by the salivary glands in the mouth, this watery liquid travels to the mouth through tubes called salivary ducts. Saliva itself is made up of a watery mixture which includes antibacterial compounds, electrolytes, enzymes, mucus, and glycoproteins.
Why You Need Saliva
So saliva is good because it removes harmful bacteria in your mouth that will build up into plaque if not removed by daily brushing and flossing. Plaque is harmful because it releases toxins from bacteria that erode tooth enamel, leaving you at risk for cavities. Saliva keeps teeth healthy and strong by coating them in calcium and phosphorous which neutralizes these acids. Not only does saliva dilute the corrosive acid in the mouth, but it washes away oral debris from food particles left behind after meals or snacks. Saliva also has antibacterial substances in it that helps fight oral bacteria and disease.
Fluoride works with saliva as well. So if you drink water with fluoride in it, or use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash, it remains in the saliva, protecting enamel. This is also known as remineralization. Now, remineralization works best with a balance of saliva production, good daily oral habits and regular dental cleanings for tooth and gum health. As you can see, saliva is vital for good oral health. Maintain healthy saliva production by staying well hydrated with water in conjunction with healthy oral care for a beautiful smile!
We invite you to come in and visit with our dedicated dentist, Dr. Jeanine Nordeen for your next dental cleaning. You can reach our Smiles Dental team in Lacey, Washington by calling 360.339.7499 today.