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Saliva: Mouth-Watering Facts

October 25, 2021

You probably don’t give much thought to your saliva, but it performs many important jobs. In addition to helping you speak and eat, it keeps your teeth strong, helps prevent cavities from forming and carries away food particles. In fact, saliva plays a major role in good oral health.

At the office of Fairview Park, we’re enthusiastic about treating all aspects of your oral health. It’s as important to our dentists as it is to you. In addition to the high-quality, comprehensive care we provide, we also have a welcoming, patient-focused environment in which each client feels at ease.

Here’s a closer look at this liquid that’s a crucial component of your mouth as well as your digestive system. Microscopic salivary glands are all over your lips, tongue, nose and voice box. There are hundreds of them. These teeny openings help release and preserve the saliva in your mouth. 

But three main salivary glands, called the parotid, sublingual and submandibular, produce 90 percent of your saliva and keep everything flowing smoothly. This trio of ducts is in your cheeks, jaw and the bottom of your mouth. A healthy person pumps out 40 tablespoons of saliva every day; 99 percent of it is water. The rest is a mixture of proteins, enzymes, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, immunoglobulins and mucins. 

Though the proteins are in that measly 1 percent of saliva, they’re the first line of defense against harmful oral bacteria, and they help your taste receptors do their job. Saliva’s enzymes help break down starches and fats in your mouth, thereby assisting in your digestive process. Mucin also helps digestion by keeping your mouth lubricated. The calcium, phosphorous and magnesium make your enamel more durable, which reduces the risk of cavities. 

Because saliva is so important to your oral and overall health, it’s important to consult a dentist if you’re suffering from an inadequate saliva flow, also known as dry mouth.

At the office of Fairview Park, our elite team of dental professionals has the ability, focus and flexibility to demonstrate unparalleled professional knowledge. Our high-tech, cutting-edge diagnostic equipment will give us an overall view of the health of every aspect of your mouth and teeth. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment. 

Existing Patients: (216) 251-1000
New Patients: (216) 539-9160