Every day, you produce around 1.5 litres of saliva, but you probably take this remarkable liquid for granted even though it is vital for good health.
Saliva is a natural disinfectant, and it helps to maintain a healthy mouth more efficiently, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease by washing away loose food particles. It contains other substances that fight disease, and which prevent other infections. The condition of your saliva can also provide valuable clues about your overall health. One common problem is a lack of saliva.
Often a lack of saliva, a condition called dry mouth, or xerostomia is related to medications. There are several hundred medications, including antihistamines and decongestants, that can cause dry mouth as a side-effect. When people get older, they often need to take more medicines and need to be more vigilant about their oral health. If you’ve noticed your mouth feels dry, take extra care when brushing and flossing your teeth and come and see us regularly for checkups.
Another problem is an oral infection called candida albicans, a yeast infection that causes saliva to become white and clumpy. People with diabetes are especially vulnerable because excess glucose in their saliva can promote yeast growth.
If you do have problems with your saliva, be sure to discuss them with us at your next checkup because we can help you.