Being healthy begins with your mouth! In one of our previous blogs, we told you why proper oral hygiene is so important. Good oral hygiene doesn’t just make your teeth sparkle, it also reduces the risk of various diseases. But what is the role of saliva in this story? How is it created and what is it good for? In this blog, we will explain the purpose of saliva and why we should be happy that our body produces about one litre (yes, really!) of saliva per day.
Various salivary glands
Saliva is produced by our salivary glands. We have three paired major salivary glands in our mouth:
- The parotid gland, which is located close to the ear and drains to the first large molar of the upper jaw.
- The submandibular gland, which is located beneath the lower jaw in both corners of the jaw and drains under the tongue.
- The sublingual gland, which drains to the floor of the oral cavity under the teeth and behind the front teeth.
The parotid gland only secretes watery saliva and is usually stimulated when we see or smell food. Now you also know where the expression ‘it makes my mouth water’ comes from!
How it functions
Saliva is very important for our mouth. It helps us to digest food, among other things. When we eat, the chewing process stimulates the production of saliva. The food mixes with the saliva, which stimulates the digestive process. After eating or drinking, an acidic attack occurs in our mouth. Our saliva neutralises these acids. Saliva also plays an important role in talking, it ensures that the tongue can move smoothly and that the lips can slide over the teeth. That way, our mouth is protected against injuries. In addition, saliva has an antibacterial purpose; it inhibits harmful enzymes, fungus and viruses.
Saliva keeps your mouth healthy
Saliva keeps your mouth healthy, but this also requires some input from you. For instance, the production of saliva can decrease if you don’t drink enough or have unhealthy eating habits. That is why you should drink enough and eat lots of vegetables. A dry mouth increases the chances of cavities and gum problems.
Do you suffer from a dry mouth or gum problems? Try brushing your teeth with the Better Toothbrush. You can recognise it by the unique V position of the outer bristles. This toothbrush stimulates the gums while you brush your teeth! That way you keep your gums healthy, your saliva at the right level and your entire oral cavity in great condition. Find all our points of sale!