Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

3 Fun Facts About Your Spit

by Caitlin Obara

Saliva is one of those overlooked aspects of our everyday bodily functions. You know it's there, but you never really knew much about it. This article will discuss 3 facts about your saliva that you probably weren't aware of. It will also give you some tips to promote good salivary health.

What Is Saliva?

Saliva is the liquid that is produced inside your mouth by your salivary glands. Saliva is actually 99% water.

The main functions of saliva is to cleanse your mouth and break down your food. Saliva is instrumental to your oral health because of its ability to destroy bacteria that grow in your mouth. It also disintegrates your food as you chew it in order to make the food easier to digest.

Fun Fact #1: Saliva Is A Natural Painkiller

Most people don't know it, but saliva contains a chemical that can be instrumental in easing pain. This chemical is known as opiorphin. As a matter of fact, a study showed that 1 mg of opiophin was just as potent as 3 mg of morphine when it comes to fighting pain.

When it is able to be synthesized, opiorphin will be a great painkiller because it is not addictive in the ways that most commercial painkillers are.

While opiorphin cannot yet be made into a form that can help you ease pain in most of your body, there is a way you can take advantage of it now. When you have a toothache, you can use your saliva to help ease your pain. Just secrete as much saliva as you can (without drinking water). After you do this, swish the saliva around in your mouth. This should reduce the amount of pain you feel as a result of your toothache.

Saliva Prevents Bad Breath

Ever wonder what causes bad breath? Bacteria does. If you have a lot of bacteria in your mouth, your breath will stink.

Your mouth produces the least amount of saliva at night when you are sleeping. This allows more bacteria to accumulate overnight. This is why you wake up with "morning breath."

The key to preventing halitosis is to make sure you have a healthy flow of saliva. This will kill the bacteria that cause the odor in your mouth.

Saliva Enables Your Sense Of Taste

Did you know that saliva is the substance that allows you to taste? It's true! If you didn't have saliva, you wouldn't be able to taste food.

This is due to the fact that the chemicals in your food have to be dissolved in your saliva in order for your taste buds to taste it. The saliva you produce keeps the receptors in your tongue moist, which enables them to taste your food.

In order to maintain your oral health, you must make sure you are producing a healthy amount of saliva. Dry mouth can lead to oral health issues. Here are some ways to stimulate the production of saliva:

  • Chew gum (sugarless, of course)
  • Eat sugarless candy
  • Suck on lemon or lime skins.

Maintaining a healthy flow of saliva will keep your mouth clean and healthy. For more information, contact Pedodontics P.C.