Did you know that you could potentially produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs a year? In fact, every day your body produces about 2-4 pints of saliva. Most saliva is produced in the afternoon while a smaller amount is produced in the evening and at night.
Saliva is one of nature’s most fascinating fluids and your body constantly produces it.
The fact is, saliva is incredibly beneficial to your oral health and your body as a whole. One of the benefits of saliva is that it aids in preventing tooth decay. The enzymes present in saliva work together to break down food molecules and facilitate salivary flow that washes away sugars and food particles that can cause tooth decay. In addition, saliva contains mineral salts such as calcium and phosphate ions which promote remineralization of tooth enamel while at the same time slowing down the process of demineralization.
Here are some other fun facts about saliva.
- Without saliva, you would not be able to taste the wonderful flavors of food. Saliva acts as a solvent as it dissolves food molecules in order for your taste buds to recognize flavor like the salt crisp of potato chips or the sweet taste of a chocolate bar.
- Saliva acts as a protective barrier for your teeth and gums. The fluids from saliva lubricate your mouth and help to balance acidity in your mouth.
- Saliva is one of the first things to activate digestion. Enzymes present in saliva help to break down starches and fats.
- Have you ever noticed that wounds in your mouth heal faster than anywhere else on your body? That’s due to saliva! Saliva contains healing agents that can repair cuts, scrapes, and bruises in your mouth at a faster rate than anywhere else on your body.
- Saliva kills bacteria. Ever wonder why morning breath smells bad? It’s due to low levels of saliva. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t produce as much saliva while you’re sleeping, therefore your saliva is not able to kill bacteria in the same way it does while you’re awake.
- Saliva contains disease-fighting substances that can help prevent dental infections.
- You may be able to control the amount of saliva in your mouth. The amount of saliva in your mouth can increase when you taste, smell, or even think of food.
- Although saliva is 99% water, it is much thicker than actual water due to mucus.
- Your body is an expert at recycling! Saliva comes from blood. As your blood passes through certain glands, water exits the blood and is recycled into saliva.
- Saliva helps you speak. The moisture in your mouth helps you to move around your tongue so that you can vocalize different sounds and speech patterns.
These are just a few interesting facts about saliva. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Saliva may not get a lot of attention when it comes to body image and overall health, but saliva has a role in many daily functions of the body you aren’t even aware of. Have questions about dry mouth? Learn more about oral health on our website or call us (978-794-0010) to set up an appointment.