There are several important considerations in the world of oral health, but one that’s commonly forgotten or unconsidered by dental patients is one of the most important: Saliva. Saliva has a large role in not only your oral health but also your digestive health and other areas. At the offices of Grant Dental, we’re in tune with each element of your mouth’s care – including saliva and what it could be signaling. Let’s go over some of the basic functions and benefits of saliva, plus what to do and whether to contact a family dentist if a few uncommon saliva issues arise.


Our bodies will create around two to four pints of saliva in a given day, or about enough to fill two swimming pools over the course of an entire lifetime. There are a few specific functions saliva carries out:

  • Digestion and taste: Saliva is one of the first parts of the digestive system. It begins to break down food as we chew, helping us taste and swallow the food. Without saliva, tasting food would be impossible.
  • Oral health: Saliva is also vital for maintaining oral health. It contains antimicrobial agents that protect the teeth from bacteria and plaque, and also promotes calcium and phosphate that strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Eating and drinking: Saliva also washes away food and debris left in the mouth after a meal or drink. This debris is often what causes tooth decay. Saliva also neutralizes harmful acids that lead to cavities.

All Day, All Night

Saliva isn’t just working during the day, although it does increase production during meals. However, it’s also working at night to strengthen the teeth and prepare them for the upcoming day.

Saliva Issues

In some people, a condition called dry mouth will be present, where not enough saliva is being produced. Dry mouth ca be caused by a few different conditions, and it can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Anyone with dry mouth should consider sugar-free gum, sugarless candy and lots of water throughout the day to stimulate saliva production. For more on saliva, or to find out about emergency dental care or any of our other services offered, speak to the offices of Grant Dental today.

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