Your saliva might seem ordinary but it’s anything but. It helps you digest food, fight infection, and so much more. Without your saliva, life would be more challenging and a lot less flavorful.
Here at Eau Claire Park Dental, we love saliva! After reading these fun facts about it, we bet you’ll love it too.
Saliva Fact #1: It’s essential for tasting your favorite food and drink.
Your tongue and saliva work together to provide you with the sense of taste. Acting as a solvent, your saliva breaks down food molecules for your taste buds to recognize. From bacon to fresh strawberries, you wouldn’t be able to taste all the flavors of the world without your saliva. Saliva also protects your taste receptors from damage when you have a drier mouth or a bacterial infection.
Saliva Fact #2: You produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs every year.
Every day, your body produces one to two litres of saliva. That means in a year, you could fill two average-sized bathtubs with your saliva alone.
When do you produce the most saliva? Your salivary glands are very active during the day, and take a rest during the night. That’s one reason why you might wake up feeling extra thirsty.
Saliva Fact #3: When you’re scared or nervous, saliva production decreases.
If you’re anxious, frightened, or nervous, your body often goes into its “flight or fight” response and your sympathetic nervous system kicks in. With this response, saliva production decreases, leaving you with a feeling of dry mouth. If you’ve ever given a speech or been nervous during a job interview, you likely craved a glass of water more than usual.
Saliva Fact #4: Saliva helps you talk.
Your tongue is able to move around and form words and speech patterns thanks to the moisture coming from your saliva. That’s why people often have a bottle of water handy if they’re giving a presentation. A little extra liquid can help the words flow.
Saliva Fact #5: It can serve as a natural painkiller.
Natural painkillers are rare, and your saliva is one of them. Made up of water, proteins, chemical compounds, mucus, amylase, and mineral salts, your saliva holds some superhero qualities. Opiorphin is one of those components and is thought to subdue pain six times better than morphine.
Saliva Fact #6: Saliva protects your teeth, gums, and overall health.
The fluids in your saliva help kill bacteria, break down foods, prevent tooth decay, and fight infection. Your saliva also helps balance acidity in your mouth and serves as a barrier for your teeth and gums.
Your mouth is home to six salivary glands found in your cheeks, under your tongue, and in the front and back of your mouth. These hidden wonders help keep you healthy, digest food, and prevent infection.
If you notice swelling or experience pain in your mouth, schedule a dental appointment. We can do an evaluation and see if you have salivary stones or an infection. Salivary stones can form in your glands and block flow of your saliva, causing you pain and discomfort.
Getting regular checkups of your teeth and mouth can help ensure you’re healthy — and offer you and your teeth ultimate protection.
Got a question, comment, or suggestion? Drop us a comment below. We love hearing from our patients!
Want to know more about your mouth? Check out these other fascinating posts:
Foods that are beneficial for your oral health
Why you should keep your regular dental hygiene appointments
The one hour whitening process