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Saliva and its importance

Tuesday, 08 January 2013
Answered by: DoctorNDTV Team
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Q. Is saliva important?

A.  Why is saliva so important to us?

That thin transparent fluid that is emitted as spittle/spit, the best and least understood protective barrier against oral diseases and for the early digestion of food (via salivary amylase) is saliva.
It is relevant for smooth speech too.
Secretion of the parotid and other salivary glands protects your teeth against decay, and sensitivity by neutralising acids in the mouth after virtually any and every intake of food substances.
It works to prevent bad breath too.
Poor quality saliva can worsen oral health and make everything from breath to taste to speech a difficult daily trek.

What are the reasons for poor quality Saliva?

Poor quality saliva is seen in

A) Old age
B) In people who are under lots of medication
C) High alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs and caffeine intake
D) Severely acidogenic foods
E) Poor general health
F) Dehydration in any form exertion e.g.as sporting and running
G) Oral diseases of salivary glands and mouth cancer, Sjogren’s syndrome etc.
H) Cancer patients and after radiation and/or chemotherapy.

What are Signs and Symptoms of salivary gland disease I should look for?

A) Dry mouth
B) Food sticking in the mouth and difficulty in swallowing
C) Altered taste of usual foods
D) Halitosis/bad breathe

Ask your dentist to:

A) Prescribe useful preferably fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, interdental brushes
B) Recommend sugar-free gum
C) Artificial saliva substitute in case of severe dry mouth due to disease or multiple medication therapy
D) High fluoride mouthwashes and toothpastes in medically indicated cases
E) Early dental/periodontal intervention to minimize discomfort, early loss of teeth and expensive dental care

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure

A.  Why is saliva so important to us?

That thin transparent fluid that is emitted as spittle/spit, the best and least understood protective barrier against oral diseases and for the early digestion of food (via salivary amylase) is saliva.
It is relevant for smooth speech too.
Secretion of the parotid and other salivary glands protects your teeth against decay, and sensitivity by neutralising acids in the mouth after virtually any and every intake of food substances.
It works to prevent bad breath too.
Poor quality saliva can worsen oral health and make everything from breath to taste to speech a difficult daily trek.

What are the reasons for poor quality Saliva?

Poor quality saliva is seen in

A) Old age
B) In people who are under lots of medication
C) High alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs and caffeine intake
D) Severely acidogenic foods
E) Poor general health
F) Dehydration in any form exertion e.g.as sporting and running
G) Oral diseases of salivary glands and mouth cancer, Sjogren’s syndrome etc.
H) Cancer patients and after radiation and/or chemotherapy.

What are Signs and Symptoms of salivary gland disease I should look for?

A) Dry mouth
B) Food sticking in the mouth and difficulty in swallowing
C) Altered taste of usual foods
D) Halitosis/bad breathe

Ask your dentist to:

A) Prescribe useful preferably fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, interdental brushes
B) Recommend sugar-free gum
C) Artificial saliva substitute in case of severe dry mouth due to disease or multiple medication therapy
D) High fluoride mouthwashes and toothpastes in medically indicated cases
E) Early dental/periodontal intervention to minimize discomfort, early loss of teeth and expensive dental care

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure

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