Smiling asian woman is taking a glass of water from her dentist

Saliva: Natural Oral Defense

Did you know one of your greatest weapons against plaque, cavities and tooth decay is already swishing around your mouth? Your very own saliva has more benefits than you may know. Especially when it comes to your dental health. Saliva is an essential weapon in the fight against tooth decay.

How it Works

Saliva is mostly made up of water, but it also has a number of subtle, yet substantial components to help fight away bacteria. A healthy amount of saliva will work all day and night for your teeth and for your digestion. Though it is your constant companion, it really steps up during meal time. Saliva breaks down food to help you safely digest all while continually protecting your teeth. And if that isn’t enough here are some more ways saliva protects your oral health:

Drooling with Benefits

  • Neutralizes acid: acidic foods wear down and weaken enamel. By neutralizing it, saliva keeps your teeth strong.
  • Anti-bacterial: saliva contains a small yet powerful amount of anti-bacterial to improve and quicken the healing process.
  • Kills germs: not only does it wash bacteria away, but actually kills germs.
  • Prevents bad breath: saliva won’t let those left overs linger and foul up your mouth.
  • Breaks down food: saliva softens and breaks down food so that teeth don’t have to do all the work.
  • Protective layer: your teeth always have a thin layer of saliva acting as a protective barrier.
  • Restores healthy minerals: certain foods can throw off the mineral and chemical balance in your mouth and saliva steps right in to restore it.

Keep Saliva Flowing

With all these benefits, it is in your best interest to keep the spit flowing. Saliva protects your mouth from cavities, decay and even gum disease. Here are a few great ways to protect yourself from dry mouth:

  1. Drink LOTS of water: drink water with every meal and in between meals and in between those in between’s. Dehydration reduces saliva and therefore reduces your oral defenses.
  2. Gum: chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on a sugar free candy helps to keep your salivary glands working.
  3. Avoid/Limit these foods: salty, spicy and acidic. Also be careful with alcohol and caffeine. Now, I know that is a lot of food and drink to avoid. When you do indulge just be sure to follow it up with a tall drink of water.

At Eagle Rock Dental Care we want to keep your mouth healthy so it can keep protecting you day after day. Contact us with any questions and be sure to request your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you in our chair!