Saliva

Saliva is produced by three pairs of major salivary gland in addition to hundreds of very small accessory glands found within the oral tissues. Saliva is made up of mostly water, but is also made up of enzymes, proteins, mucous, and minerals. Saliva performs many important functions as listed below.

  • Lubricates food to allow for easier swallowing
  • Protects teeth from getting decayed by washing debris from the teeth and gums
  • Makes it easy to speak
  • Protects the oral cavity from infections from bacteria, viruses, and yeasts
  • Saliva performs a pre-digestive process whereby the beginning stages of food digestions take place in the mouth due to the actions by salivary enzymes.
  • Saliva helps neutralize acids in the mouth

Common substances that can worsen a xerostomia condition

  • Tobacco
  • Acidic foods
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Alcohol based mouth rinses
  • Foods with high sugar content
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Hot food
  • Spicy foods
  • Numerous prescription medications

Common Symptoms of Xerostomia

  • Sores or cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • Constant need to sip water
  • Difficulty eating dry foods
  • Having one’s sleep interrupted at night to drink water
  • Burning sensation in the tongue or oral tissues
  • Difficulty wearing a full or upper denture due to a lack of saliva to assist in retention
  • An altered sense of taste
  • Difficulties in speaking and or swallowing
  • Increasing frequency of decay near the gum line of the teeth

Products for Dry Mouth Conditions

For more information about dry mouth conditions and how to treat it click here

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