The Importance of Saliva for Oral Hygiene The best weapon we have to combat decay is the saliva produced by the glands surrounding the mouth. Water makes up about 99.5 percent of saliva; the rest of the elements of saliva include ions such as potassium, potassium chloride and various phosphates and mucous. All of these elements work together to offer buffers that help in regulating the PH in the oral cavity and creating enzymes that help in beginning the process of breaking down our food. Saliva’s crucial function isn’t merely moistening the mouth cavity which promotes the movement of food through the gastrointestinal 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. Even though there are lots of elements that contribute to decreasing the production of saliva, it’s most times hard to isolate the problem stemming from one particular factor. Reasons like depression, mouth breathing, aging, and smoking are among the normal 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 difficult to find an aging adult that does not take more than one medicine 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 various 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 several body causes that result in dry mouth syndrome, people must be diligent in maximizing the resources available to increase salivary production.
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Fortunately, there are steps that one may take to increase the salivary circulation to replace oral secretions. Adequate hydration is vital and should be assessed. One should follow good oral hygiene techniques with daily brushing and flossing.
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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. If radiation therapy is proposed to treat cancer; your dentist can create fluoride trays to guard the teeth during radiation therapy.