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The Importance of Saliva for Oral Hygiene

The best weapon we have to fight decay is the saliva produced by the glands surrounding the oral cavity. Saliva is made of over 99.5 percent water the remaining components of saliva include ions such as sodium, potassium chloride and various phosphates and mucous . All these elements work together to provide buffers that assist with regulating the PH in the oral cavity and also producing enzymes that assist in starting the process of breaking down our food. Saliva’s most vital function is not only moistening the oral cavity that promotes the movement of food through the digestive system and speech but to fight enamel erosion that facilitates tooth decay. If the bacteria found in the mouth aren’t diminished and neutralized with the assistance of saliva, demineralization of the tough tissues, for example, the enamel will happen to cause progressive degradation of the tooth’s organic matter will follow.

There are many factors which affect the production of saliva. Though there are many elements that contribute to lowering the production of saliva, it is most times difficult to isolate the issue stemming from one specific factor. Reasons like aging, mouth breathing, depression and smoking are among the typical culprits that lead to a drier mouth. But, in most cases, the incidence of dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia is diagnosed to be as a consequence of general body causes instead of the community oral cavity issues.

The most common reasons for xerostomia are utilizing medications that decrease the production of saliva, therapeutic irradiation that is used to treat neck and head cancers and several autoimmune conditions. There are numerous medications that have the side effect of making the mouth dry. It is quite hard to find an aging adult that does not take more than one medication that deters the production of saliva. An autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome is famous for the damage it creates to salivary glands. This syndrome is most times associated with the different rheumatoid diseases. Radiation therapy, used for the treatment of head and neck cancers most times damages salivary glands and halts or lowers salivary production. With many body triggers that result in dry mouth syndrome; folks must be adept in maximizing the resources available to increase salivary creation.
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Fortunately, there are steps that one may take to increase the salivary circulation to replace oral secretions. Enough hydration is vital and should be assessed. One should follow good oral hygiene practices with daily flossing and brushing.
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An Individual could buy over the counter fluoride rinses which help in providing an extra barrier to help in protecting the teeth from the occurrence of decay. In case radiation treatment is proposed to treat cancer, your dentist can make fluoride trays to protect the teeth during radiation treatment.

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