Fun Facts About Saliva!

  • You could potentially produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs a year!
  • Food molecules must dissolve in saliva in order to be recognized by taste buds.
  • Saliva protects teeth and gums, lubricates the mouth, and helps regulate the acid balance of the mouth.
  • Saliva is essential to the breakdown of food.
  • Saliva can be analysed to monitor alcohol intake, smoking, and drug use. It may also be useful in diagnosing disease.
  • Saliva contains enzymes that start the digestive process by helping to break down starches and fats.
  • Saliva helps wounds in the mouth heal faster than wounds elsewhere on the body.
  • When you are nervous or frightened, saliva production is reduced.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva production and is good for your teeth.

Why we love Saliva

Saliva is the mouths primary defence against tooth decay. Decay result from bacteria in plaque that generate acids, which attack tooth minerals. The buffering systems of saliva help counteract this acid formation. Saliva flow helps wash away the sugars and food particles that, when broken down, also produce tooth-damaging acids.

For instance, when you eat high-starch foods such as bread, the carbohydrates they contain block natural saliva flow and aren’t easily dissolved. To ensure its free flow throughout the mouth, saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugars that clear the mouth and facilitate salivary flow.

Mineral salts in saliva — calcium and phosphate ions — slow demineralization of tooth structure and encourage ongoing re-mineralization of tooth enamel, thus reversing the decay process! It really is wonderful stuff!