Do You Know Your Spit Well-   SALIVA

Saliva is a liquid secreted by the salivary glands.

It is a fluid that contains water,electrolytes ,enzymes,mucous

Saliva could profoundly influence the state of oral health of a person as teeth are constantly bathed in saliva

The fact that

Saliva helps in the removal of bacteria and food debris from the mouth.When saliva is swallowed,any bacteria contained therein are removed from the oral cavity .The average unstimulated flow rate of saliva is about 0.3 ml per minute and the amount of saliva present in the mouth prior to swallowing is of the order of 3 or 4 times that volume.


How saliva is beneficial for oral health?

  1. Lubricating and solvent function- The saliva contains mucus which protects the mucous membranes and tissues of the oral cavity by lubricating it. It also lubricates the food we eat and dissolve food so that it can be chewed easily


2  Antibacterial Properties:

Salivary antibacterial substances or enzymes which helps in preventing tooth decay are

  • Lactoperoxidase- It has high affinity for the enamel(tooth surface) and it kills all the microorganisms by generating chemical compounds that kill the microorganisms  
  • Lysozyme – It is positively charged enzyme which catalyzes the degradation of negatively charged microbial cell walls.
  • Lactoferrin- It is an iron binding basic protein found in saliva.Since iron is essential for microbial growth and it tends to bind and limit the amount of free iron so it acts as an active defense host mechanism
  • IgA – Predominant immunoglobulin present in saliva.It inhibits adherence of microorganisms to mucosal surfaces and tooth surfaces thus facilalting their disposal by swallowing
  1. Digestive properties: You must have heard that digestion begins in the mouth so chew well.The enzymes present in saliva like salivary amylase is the first digestive enzyme that helps in the degradation of carbohydrates present in our food.


  1. Maintain pH of the oral cavity – As we all know that  More acid = lower pH = More cavities

The pH of saliva is determined mainly by the bicarbonate concentration .The saliva pH increases with the flow rate. Saliva may be slightly acidic as it is secreted at unstimulated flow rates. Other salivary components contributing to neutralize acid are salivary phosphate, salivary proteins, ammonia, urea


When there is need to see a dentist?

This question must be wondering in your mind that how to know that there is a problem and you need to visit a dentist


If you have very less saliva secretion then you may have difficulty in chewing and swallowing food ,this condition is known as dry mouth

 If it persists for a long time then you need to visit your dentist