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While your teeth and gums are the parts of your mouth you pay attention to, your saliva is also a key player in the production of a healthy smile. Indeed, with dry mouth from a lack of proper saliva production, your smile health can actually suffer. Today we want to give you an overview on the role of saliva in your oral health.

What is saliva’s job in the mouth?

Saliva works to wash away food particles, moistens and breaks down the foods you eat and helps you taste and swallow. Not only that, saliva produces disease-fighting agents that prevent tooth decay and oral infections. Saliva also secretes high levels of calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions that directly benefit your teeth.

What is saliva comprised of and how is it released into the mouth?

Saliva is created from blood and maintains the healthy soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Insufficient saliva production actually increases your risk of tooth decay. There are three salivary glands on each side of your mouth:

  • The parotid gland up high in your cheek, secreting saliva just above your upper molars.
  • The submandibular gland lies deep in your jawbone alongside your bottom teeth, secreting saliva beneath the tongue.
  • The sublingual gland sits beneath the tip of your tongue, secreting saliva near the front of your tongue’s bottom surface.

How are proper levels of saliva maintained?

Chewing is the most effective way to create saliva production as it causes the muscles to compress and release saliva. You will want to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of fluids–such as water. You can also chew sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate adequate saliva production. Our dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva rinse or spray to help moisten your mouth.

Are you experiencing the effects of dry mouth? Is your saliva production not what it should be? If so, we are happy to help! Dr. Armen Terteryan and our team are always eager to help you achieve a healthy smile. Please call Couture Smiles Dental Group in Woodland Hills, California, at (818) 716.7966 and let us help you get your smile health back on track.