Saliva, A Secret Superhero
What is the purpose of our saliva? The thought probably doesn’t cross your mind often, but at Colorado Dental Group, we believe saliva deserves some recognition. Not only does your saliva play a key role in the digestion of fats and carbohydrates, but this fluid aids your oral health in several ways. Saliva actively restores your teeth with a process called remineralization- the practice by which saliva bathes teeth in calcium phosphate to heal and reverse the early stages of cavities. Kind of amazing right?
Protect and Defend
Not convinced of saliva’s secret powers? Here are a few additional ways in which saliva positively impacts your oral health:
- Antibacterial & antibiotic properties help prevent dental decay and gum disease
- Helps you chew, taste, and swallow your food
- Prevents bad breath
- Lubricates your mouth so you can communicate freely
The Evils of Xerostomia
Without saliva, we would all suffer from xerostomia, widely known as chronic dry mouth. This condition is painful and often recognizable if your tongue and gums are swollen. Chronic dry mouth is commonly medically induced, but it can also be a symptom of certain diseases.
Contributing factors that may cause dry mouth include:
- Mouth breathing
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Blockage or structural issue with your salivary ducts
Common medications that cause chronic dry mouth:
- Anxiety and antidepressant medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Allergy drugs
- Appetite suppressants
- Pain medication
Before taking medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist about the possible side effects.
Overcome Dry Mouth
If you suffer from a mild case of xerostomia, there are ways to stimulate your saliva, like remaining hydrated, chewing gum, and sucking on a sugar-free candy.
If these treatments do not work, it is best to give your dentist a call. Colorado Dental Group is equipped to administer different solutions to those with persistent dry mouth.