Saliva is one of the ways in which your body naturally fights off cavities, or tooth decay. Here, we’ll explain what saliva is and how saliva helps prevent cavities.
What Is Saliva?
Saliva is composed of water, minerals, proteins, mucus, and amylase. Also known as spit, saliva helps to maintain the hard and soft tissues in your mouth by keeping the interior of your mouth moist. It washes away residual food particles after you eat, protects against bacteria, and makes sure that there isn’t too much acid in your mouth.
How Does Saliva Help Prevent Cavities?
Saliva has many oral health benefits. As mentioned above, saliva washes away food particles that are left in your mouth after you’ve eaten. This helps to protect you from cavities because oral bacteria produce enamel-destroying acids as they feed on food particles, which leads to tooth decay. Your teeth are better protected from this bacteria when saliva washes away those leftover food bits and coats your teeth in a thin film. Minerals found in saliva, such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate, also rebuild enamel and neutralize acids in your mouth while the enzyme amylase breaks down starches in your mouth.
How Can I Stimulate Salivary Flow?
There are a few things you can do to make sure that there’s always enough saliva in your mouth:
- One of the best ways of stimulating salivary flow is by chewing crunchy fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods that are high in fiber like celery, carrots, and apples help to stimulate saliva without putting your dental and overall health at risk.
- Drink plenty of water because dehydration causes your saliva production to decrease.
- Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate your salivary flow.
How Else Can I Prevent Cavities?
Boost your cavity-fighting ability by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and visiting our True Dental team every six months for cleanings and checkups. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, talk to us about an artificial saliva product or another solution to help you maintain a healthy salivary flow and to relieve your dental discomfort. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!Contact Us