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Why Saliva is Vital in Maintaining Oral Hygiene The best weapon we have to fight decay is the saliva produced by the glands surrounding the oral cavity. Saliva is constituted of more than 99.5 percent water; the rest of the components of saliva include mucous, ions like sodium, potassium chloride, and various phosphates. 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 most vital function is not merely moistening the mouth cavity which promotes speech and the movement of food through the digestive system 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 several 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 depression, mouth breathing, aging, and smoking are among the normal culprits that lead to a drier mouth. However, most times, the occurrence of dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia is recognized to be as a consequence of overall body causes rather than their local oral cavity problems. The most common reasons for xerostomia are using medications that decrease the production of saliva, therapeutic irradiation that is used to treat neck and head cancers and some autoimmune conditions. There are many drugs which 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 known 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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Luckily, there are measures that one may take to increase the salivary circulation to replace oral secretions. Enough hydration is vital and should be examined. One should follow good oral hygiene techniques with daily brushing and flossing.
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One could purchase over the counter fluoride rinses which help In supplying an extra barrier to help in protecting your teeth in the occurrence of decay. In the event radiation treatment is proposed to treat cancer; then your dentist can make fluoride trays to protect the teeth during radiation treatment.