Did you know that every day each of us produces between 1-2L of saliva on average!
Here at Adelaide City Dental Care, not only do we get to interact and work with all this amazing liquid each and every day, we also get to see and work hard to combat the sometimes-severe oral outcomes that occur when clients don’t have enough quality saliva. Sufferers of dry mouth (Xerostomia), often suffer from high rates of dental decay, gum disease, loss of taste, ulcers and sore soft tissues, and difficulty wearing dentures- just to name a few problems! If you are concerned about your saliva volume, call 8212 3880 to make an appointment, or book online: https://adelaidecitydentalcare.com.au/appointment/
So, what does saliva do?
- Lubricates the mouth- this is crucial for eating, talking, swallowing, and wearing dental appliances such as dentures. Saliva also plays an important part in taste. A mouth without saliva is like a car engine with no oil- damage can occur very quickly!
- Some enzymes in saliva help to fight germs in your mouth. Other enzymes actually help to start the digestion process even before food gets to your stomach.
- A very important function of healthy saliva is to maintain the pH, or acidity, of the mouth at a safe level to help keep our teeth strong- an acid oral environment can quickly lead to decay or erosion of the teeth. This is why chewing sugar-free gum after eating helps to fight food and bacterial acids by stimulating saliva secretion.
What can affect saliva production and quality?
- Dehydration- saliva is approximately 98% water, so if you become dehydrated saliva volume and viscosity can be altered. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine and other drinks or foods that can cause dehydration. Tobacco use also has a huge oral impact, including salivary changes.
- Medications- many common medications, including antidepressants, inhalers, some blood pressure and heart medications, and antihistamines can greatly reduce saliva secretion and production.
- Age related changes to glandular secretions
- Medical treatments such as radiation involving the salivary glands and chemotherapy
- Health conditions including some auto immune diseases, nerve damage, and diabetes.
Some signs and symptoms of poor saliva volume/quality can include- difficulty swallowing, dry or raspy voice, pain when eating or difficulty wearing dentures, change in taste, bad breath. If you have noticed any of these, or any other oral changes, if your doctor has changed the number or type of medication, or you have been diagnosed with a medical condition as listed above it is VERY important to make time for a dental check-up. Here at Adelaide City Dental Care, we can help with a thorough assessment of your dental and oral soft tissues, and offer strategies and products to help manage any salivary changes before they cause irreversible damage! Call 8212 3880 to make an appointment.Leave a reply