Saliva is the clear, watery liquid in our mouths that we don’t generally wish to think a whole lot about. You may be surprised to know that saliva plays a rather important role in your dental health. Saliva is like a soldier waging battle against bad breath, dry mouth, and bacteria. Your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, challenges you to a quiz on the dental benefits of your salivary glands.
Q1. True or false – Most saliva production occurs while you sleep.
Q2. True or false – Saliva helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Q3. True or false – There are two major salivary glands on either side of your cheeks.
Q4. True or false – Dry mouth is a minor condition that is uncomfortable, but harmless.
A1. FALSE – The body makes up to 4 pints of saliva every day. Most of that is produced in the late afternoon. At night, salivary glands generally take a break.
A2. TRUE – Saliva doesn’t just help us swallow food. It works to rid the mouth of residual food particles that could mix with bacteria to create plaque. There are minerals and proteins in saliva that serve to protect your tooth enamel, as well as prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
A3. FALSE – There are six major salivary glands and hundreds of minor glands. They are located inside your cheeks, near the front teeth, and at the bottom of your mouth.
A4. FALSE – A moist mouth is a comfortable mouth, true, but dry mouth can actually cause inflammation and lead to cavities. Causes of dry mouth include smoking, side-effects of medication, general dehydration, and certain diseases (such as diabetes and Parkinson’s). Drinking plenty of water is one way to combat dry mouth, but if the problem persists, you should see your dentist.
Contact Your Lafayette Dentist for an Appointment
If you are experiencing dry mouth, over-production of saliva, or have any other concerns with your mouth, gums, or teeth contact Dr. Young. You can reach our 70508 dentist office by calling (337) 237-6453 to schedule an appointment. We are happy to provide family and cosmetic dentistry to patients in Lafayette and surrounding areas.