A healthy smile isn’t just about shiny teeth and pink gums, but proper saliva production to create a healthy environment. While your smile depends on your oral habits, like brushing and flossing, and having professional dental cleanings, saliva creates a protective environment for your teeth and oral tissues.
Saliva is produced in the mouth by traveling through tubes known as salivary ducts made in the salivary glands. So how exactly does saliva impact your smile?
The Impact of Healthy Saliva Production
- It protects your tooth enamel with its proteins and minerals.
- It helps your mouth remain moist and comfortable.
- It helps you chew and taste your food, as well as swallow.
- It helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
- It keeps your dentures in place without sliding around.
- It fights off the germs in your mouth, making your breath smell better.
If saliva production is low, you can develop a condition called dry mouth, or xerostomia. This is where the oral tissues (gums, tongue, etc.) can swell, causing discomfort. In a dry environment, germs will grow and cause bad breath. But worse, a dry environment in the mouth will ultimately make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
For a healthy smile with healthy levels of saliva production, you will want to ensure proper hydration by drinking lots of water, limit diuretic consumption (alcohol, coffee, tea, caffeinated soda), and chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy which stimulates the salivary glands.
Your smile is impacted by your saliva, so protect your smile with good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist every six months! To schedule a cleaning with one of our skilled dentists, Drs. Dale Deines, Robert Huffman, Meredith Clark, or Joseph Younger, please call our Arden Dental Group team in Arden, North Carolina at 828-684-9260 today.