Saliva is responsible for protecting the oral cavity, controls the pH of the mouth, helps the creation of the food bolus and facilitates digestion.
saliva 99% of saliva is water. However, the remaining 1% contains many substances important for digestion, dental health, and controlling the growth of microbes in the mouth.
Did you know that saliva protects your teeth?
It might seem strange, but saliva is a protective element of our teeth. This protection effect is also threefold:
In the first place, its content of calcium and phosphorus ions has a “repairing” effect against the attacks of different substances that tend to erode our enamel.
On the other hand, the “drag” effect that the flow of saliva supposes on the surface of the teeth, drags a large part of the bacteria that stick to the enamel and that, otherwise, would end up generating cavities. In addition, saliva contains antibodies and other elements that reduce the amount of harmful bacteria present in our mouth.
What are the most harmful foods for our teeth?
Fundamentally three: sugary, acidic, and carbonated drinks. That is why if we consume them frequently we must redouble our hygiene measures and the frequency of brushing, since, otherwise, the possibility of cavities or tooth enamel deteriorating is much higher.
What would happen if we only accumulated water in our mouths?
We would choke on food much more often because the bolus would not form.
Macromolecular nutrients like protein and starch, and probably also fats, would taste neutral. We could only taste predigested food that already had individual amino acids and sugars. The tooth enamel would become more porous. Bacteria could spread freely, causing cavities due to increased acid production.
5 facts about saliva
- During the night we produce less saliva due to less use of the mouth. This is why dental hygiene before bed is so important.
- Saliva is responsible for transmitting the sensations of the sense of taste to the brain.
- It allows the articulation of sounds that form speech by serving as a lubricant for the mouth.
- It is an indicator of dehydration: it sends alert signals to the body through the sensation of thirst when its production decreases due to lack of water.
- Finally, saliva is also a transmitter of some conditions such as mononucleosis or oral herpes.