Saliva, commonly referred to as spit, is something many of us probably haven’t given much thought to. But this bodily fluid is vitally important to our oral and overall health. Your friendly dentist at Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA doesn’t take this precious liquid for granted, and neither should you! It’s your mouth’s critical line of defense against tooth decay, and here’s why.
Saliva acts as your mouth’s bloodstream, and in fact is actually derived from the blood. It not only washes away leftover food particles from the mouth, but at the same time nourishes hard and soft tissue. Saliva helps coat the surfaces of our teeth with fluoride and calcium to keep them strong. When we eat, our saliva is hard at work, stimulating our taste buds and breaking down our food so that we can swallow and digest more easily.
Because it has some of the same properties as blood, saliva can be an indicator of oral and overall health, and has been used to detect cancer, hepatitis and HIV.
For all of these reasons, a case of dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is cause for concern. An inadequate production of saliva can be caused by an illness or can be a side effect of certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants and painkillers. Signs of dry mouth include difficulty swallowing, persistent sore throat, hoarseness, and nasal dryness.
What can be done to cure a case of dry mouth? There are several remedies for stimulating this vital flow of saliva, and our dentist would be more than happy to discuss these options with you during your next visit.
Our friendly dentist at Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA encourages our patients to become partners in achieving optimal oral hygiene. You do your part by brushing, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet, and we’ll do our part during your regular examinations and cleanings. Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
February 27, 2023