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Dental A to Z

Dental A to Z

Also in S:

Saliva

The fluid which contains enzymes that is formed by glands in the mouth. The saliva helps to lubricate the mouth whilst the enzymes are an important part of digestion.

Lack of saliva [dry mouth or xerostomia] is an extremely distressing condition which is experienced by an increasingly large proportion of the population.

Saliva is responsible for lubricating the teeth and mouth tissues which makes chewing, eating, swallowing and speaking possible. It helps to cleanse the mouth, neutralise acid production, begin the digestion of carbohydrates, repair the early damage caused by tooth decay, and it has the ability to protect against infection.

A healthy adult produces about 500mls per day and the flow normally increases at meal times in response to chewing. Some sour fruits such as lemons will promote an exaggerated flow of saliva.

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