Saliva is important to your smile for many reasons. It washes away food particles and moistens and breaks down your food while helping you taste and swallow. It also produces disease-fighting agents which prevent tooth decay and oral infections. By secreting high levels of calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions which directly benefit your teeth, your saliva is a vital element for your oral health.
Saliva is created from blood and maintains the healthy soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Insufficient saliva production actually increases your risk of tooth decay. So what exactly are your saliva glands and how do they work? There are three salivary glands on each side of your mouth.
- The parotid gland up high in your cheek, secreting saliva just above your upper molars.
- The submandibular gland lies deep in your jawbone alongside your bottom teeth, secreting saliva beneath the tongue.
- The sublingual gland sits beneath the tip of your tongue, secreting saliva near the front of your tongue’s bottom surface.
The most effective way to create saliva production is to chew, as this action causes the muscles to compress and release saliva. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, such as water, and watch your caffeine intake to make sure your saliva is producing properly. You can also chew sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate saliva production.
Are you currently experiencing dry mouth? If so, we can help. Our dentist can prescribe artificial saliva rinse or spray to help moisten your mouth. To find out more, please call Morristown & Summit Prosthodontics in Summit, New Jersey, at 908-273-0884 today. Dr. Madalina Iorgulescu is always here to help your smile achieve and maintain a healthy smile!