You probably don’t give much thought to your saliva, but it performs many important jobs. Inadequate saliva flow is a condition called dry mouth. Saliva plays a major role in good oral health, especially if you’re a child or adult with braces metal or clear braces.
At the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA, we’re enthusiastic about treating all aspects of your dental health. We have a welcoming environment in which each patient feels at ease.
Wearing braces and maintaining excellent oral health is particularly challenging. The appliances’ brackets, wires and other intricate elements can get in the way of thorough daily cleanings. Saliva keeps your teeth strong, carries away food particles, and helps prevent cavities and plaque.
Because saliva is so important to your oral health, you must tell your dentist if you’re suffering from inadequate saliva flow. Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and exams is especially important while you’re wearing braces.
Here’s a closer look at this liquid that’s a crucial component of your mouth. Microscopic salivary glands are all over your lips, tongue, nose and voice box. There are hundreds of them. These teeny openings help release and preserve the saliva in your mouth.
But three main salivary glands, called the parotid, sublingual and submandibular, produce 90 percent of your saliva and keep everything flowing smoothly. This trio of ducts is in your cheeks, jaw and the bottom of your mouth. A healthy person pumps out 40 tablespoons of saliva every day; 99 percent of it is water. The rest is a mixture of proteins, enzymes, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, immunoglobulins and mucins. The calcium, phosphorous and magnesium make your enamel more durable.
Though the proteins are in that measly 1 percent of saliva, they’re the first line of defense against harmful oral bacteria, and they help your taste receptors do their job. Saliva’s enzymes help break down starches and fats in your mouth, thereby assisting in your digestive process. Mucin also helps digestion by keeping your mouth lubricated.
At the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA, our team of dental professionals has the ability, focus and flexibility to demonstrate unparalleled professional knowledge. Our high-tech, cutting-edge diagnostic equipment will give us an overall view of the health of every aspect of your mouth and teeth. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
January 24, 2023