Saliva plays an essential role in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you experience reduced saliva flow and long term dryness of the mouth, you are at higher risk of oral health issues, including decay, cavities and oral infection.
Saliva has two main functions in your mouth and body including:
- Protects oral hard & soft tissues via lubrication, neutralising/dilution of sugary food acids, anti-microbial cleansing, calcium/phosphate remineralisation and tissue repair.
- Assists in eating and speech via food preparation, digestion, enzymatic action and enabling speech.
Reduced salivary flow, due to salivary gland disorders & hypo function, can seriously impact on your oral health. The main causes are aging, other health conditions, smoking, chemotherapy, nerve damage and the use of medications that affect saliva glands. If you notice any persistent signs of dry mouth despite adequate hydration, consult your dentist or doctor.