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Patient Education

Saliva… Fantastic Fluid!

Salivary GlandsYour salivary glands make up to three pints a day of this fantastic fluid. Why so much? Because saliva plays an important role in keeping your teeth and gums fit and smiling.

Saliva helps fight cavities by prevent food from sticking to teeth and gums, it also helps neutralize stomach acid preventing heartburn. Saliva even helps strengthen teeth by providing supplemental calcium and phosphorus.

Unfortunately, some people are plagued by chronic dry mouth, often called xerostomia. While medical professionals no longer believe that old age automatically causes dry mouth, it is known to be caused by autoimmune diseases like lupus or from medicines or treatments like radiation. If you don’t know what is causing your dry mouth, don’t ignore the problem—have it checked!

If you Experience “Dry Mouth”

  1. Cut back on mouth-drying alcohol, whether in beverages or mouthwashes.
  2. Drinking water and staying hydrated can help increase the amount of saliva you produce.
  3. Chewing a sugar-free gum.
  4. Add healthy snacks like fresh fruits and veggies. Fiber scours teeth, carrying away plaque and bacteria.
  5. Floss, brush and rinse.
  6. If dry mouth persists, salivary glands can be stimulated with medications. Ask your doctor.
  7. Do dental diligence. If all else fails and you experience chronic xerostomia, tell us so we can recommend special protections for your vulnerable mouth.

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