Saliva is a watery mixture of secretions that are produced within the mouth. The secretion is performed by our oral mucous glands and salivary glands. Water forms 99.5% of human saliva. Saliva is also composed of electrolytes, mucus, various enzymes and anti-bacterial compounds.
Saliva Production Process
We have three major salivary glands in the mouth in addition to some minor glands. These major glands are responsible for the production of the majority of our saliva. To some extent, the minor glands present around our oral cavity also produce saliva. The type of secretion may differ. Some are thick, whereas some are watery. Of the saliva produced, 95% is water, whereas the rest includes a combination of other enzymes such as ions and salivary proteins. Saliva improves our oral health. Not having good oral health could lead to many diseases.
Functions of Saliva
Saliva acts as a cleansing agent when it comes to your mouth. It acts as a lubricant, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial system. Saliva plays a key role in the digestion of food. It is responsible for stimulating the taste buds present in the tongue. Thus, it helps facilitate the digestion of food right when it is in our mouth. It moistens the food, thus helping us to swallow easily.
Furthermore, saliva also acts as a natural lubricant. It helps us easily chew food and easily move it towards the digestive system. It is also a good cleansing agent. It removes the food debris that accumulates in the mouth. Thus proper saliva production keeps the bacteria without affecting your teeth. The ions present in saliva act as a buffering system in your mouth by neutralizing the generated acids.
Insufficient or improper saliva could result in tooth decay, dental caries, gum diseases, gingivitis, bad breath, etc. It can also cause difficulty in chewing, speaking and swallowing. If you are already facing tooth decay or bad breath, consult your nearest dentist in Houston, Texas for a detailed dental checkup. The dentist will perform a detailed oral examination and recommend the treatment options for you. It is always advisable to ensure proper oral hygiene, which will help keep diseases from affecting your teeth, mouth and jaw. Regular dental visits at least once in six months can help maintain good oral hygiene.