Saliva: The True Mouth Guard

Saliva is a big deal, especially when it comes to oral health. Saliva serves as a neutralizer in your mouth, it quiets enamel-eroding acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. It is your best line of defense against acids, sugars, and bacteria that aim to wear away your enamel.

What you might not have known about saliva is that there are two types of saliva. The first type of saliva is stimulated saliva, it appears in your mouth when you smell French fries or when you bite into a cheeseburger. It makes up 70-90 percent of the two to three pints of saliva that we each generate daily. It looks like water and helps to break down starches and balance the pH in your mouth.

The brother of stimulated saliva is unstimulated saliva. It is the saliva that is always in your mouth, keeping it from drying out and wrapping itself protectively around the surfaces of teeth. It is also necessary for our mouths and while it may be less glamorous that the saliva that arrives when our favorite dinner is headed our way, it is just as needed.

Saliva is vital to keeping teeth and gums happy and healthy. Lack of saliva could result in tooth decay and loss of taste. Talk to your dentist about a treatment plan if you experience dry mouth.

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