Saliva is a bodily fluid that’s usually taken for granted even though we produce between one to two liters of saliva a day. Our body uses it in many ways and for various functions.
Just the simple act of eating requires enzymes from our saliva to jumpstart the digestive process by breaking down fats and starches. We also need saliva to lubricate food we’re chewing to facilitate easy swallowing.
Without saliva, we wouldn’t even be able to taste our food or speak properly. With endless benefits, saliva is much more important than one might think. Below we’ve listed five fun facts about saliva that may surprise you.
- Saliva contains antibodies
Saliva contains antibodies that help to fight germs; there are also substances in saliva that helps to promote skin cell growth and blood clotting. That’s why wounds in the mouth heal faster and usually stop bleeding quicker than anywhere else in the body.
Saliva also contains protein that your body uses to aid in the healing process.
- Salivary gland disorders
There are instances where salivary production malfunctions resulting in salivary gland disorders. When that happens, it can cause severe consequences such as tooth decay and even oral infections. One such disorder is called xerostomia which is the feeling of dryness throughout the mouth.
Sugar-free gum helps to increase saliva production, and several studies have found that chewing sugar-free gum can result in reduced dental cavities. You can also use a chewable toothbrush called Fuzzy Brush. This innovation not only functions like a toothbrush to keep your mouth clean and fresh, but it can also be chewed like a piece of gum to increase saliva production.
- Saliva contains 99% water
You might have thought that saliva contains 100% water. However, it is actually only made up of 99% water, and the rest of it contains proteins, other enzymes, buffering agents and salts to keep the pH of your saliva at the optimal level.
The water from your saliva also comes from your blood. When blood flows through the salivary glands, it passes through thin capillaries that allow water molecules and antibodies to seep through.
- Saliva helps with oral hygiene
There are antibacterial compounds found in the saliva that provides a shield against pathogens and bacteria that attack the teeth, gums and even the throat. One such enzyme in the saliva is called Lysozyme, and it helps prevent bacteria from forming in the mouth.
The bad news is saliva production drops when we’re sleeping which results in increased bacterial growth in the mouth. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene and use a toothbrush such as Fuzzy Brush to help kill any harmful bacteria.
- Saliva makes up who we are
Just one drop of your saliva can provide extensive information about your body. Saliva is basically your DNA blueprint as it can provide doctors on information about your health such as your risk of getting a heart attack.
As our genes mutate as we grow older, testing our genes may not be the most accurate way to detect changes. Saliva, however, can help in identifying these specific gene changes and provide powerful insights.
Saliva plays such a pivotal role in keeping our bodies functioning and maintaining our oral hygiene. It is also essential for us to play our part by regularly brushing our teeth to protect against cavity-causing bacteria.