INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SALIVA

A little known player in oral health is saliva or spit. Saliva provides lubrication for speech and eating and plays a significant role in maintaining healthy teeth by replenishing important minerals after an acid attack by bacteria. Every time we consume a meal with simple sugars the bacteria on our teeth use it for energy and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid over time, if frequent enough, will produce a hole in the tooth structure known as a cavity. Saliva’s job is to buffer the mineral loss by replacing calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions back into the tooth structure. It is a constant battle of demineralization vs remineralization. Saliva also physically cleanses the tooth surface by removing food debris that is stuck. In addition, saliva has inherent antimicrobial properties that can degrade bacterial walls. The importance of salivary glands tends to go unnoticed, until the glands malfunction. The consequences are severe and have a great impact on our quality of life.