How can Saliva Help Protect my Dental Health?

Saliva can play a significant, yet often overlooked role in maintaining your dental health. Our team focuses on highlighting the importance of saliva in your oral care routine.

Functions

One of the primary functions of saliva is to help neutralize acids in your mouth. After eating, bacteria in the mouth break down food particles, producing acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Saliva contains bicarbonate, which acts as a natural buffer against these acids, helping to maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. This buffering action is essential in preventing tooth decay and making sure your enamel health lasts as long as possible. 

Saliva can also be valuable in washing away food particles and debris. This cleansing effect helps reduce the amount of food available for bacteria to consume, which can then reduce the risk of cavity formation. It also contains enzymes that help break down food, making it easier to clean your teeth and gums.

Remineralization

Another significant benefit of saliva is its contribution to remineralization. Saliva is rich in calcium and phosphate, which are essential for strengthening tooth enamel. When your enamel begins to wear down, saliva can help repair and reinforce it by redepositing these essential minerals, reinforcing your teeth’s protection against decay and erosion.

Saliva also contains antimicrobial properties. It helps control the levels of bacteria and fungi in the mouth, reducing the risk of infections such as gum disease and oral thrush. Consistently producing a healthy amount of saliva can thus act as an initial effective line of defense against many common oral health issues.

At our Mirror Cosmetic Dentistry locations in Northridge, Fullerton, and Encino, we frequently see patients suffering from dry mouth, a condition where saliva production is insufficient. Dry mouth can be caused by various factors, including certain medications, medical conditions, or simply aging. Without adequate saliva, individuals are at higher risk for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. We can provide advice and treatments to manage dry mouth and restore a healthier environment for your teeth and gums.