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The Importance of Saliva for Oral Hygiene The best weapon we have to combat decay is the saliva produced by the glands surrounding the mouth. Water makes up about 99.5 percent of saliva; the rest of the elements of saliva include ions such as potassium, potassium chloride and various phosphates and mucous. All these elements work together to provide buffers that assist with regulating the PH in the oral cavity and also producing enzymes that assist in starting 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 reduced and neutralized with the help of saliva, demineralization of the hard tissues, such as enamel will occur causing progressive degradation of the tooth natural thing will follow. There are several factors which affect the production of saliva. Though there are many factors which contribute to decreasing the production of saliva, it is most times hard to isolate the problem coming from one particular factor. Reasons like aging, mouth breathing, depression and smoking are among the typical 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 several medications 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 known as Sjogren’s syndrome is famous for the damage it generates 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 causes that result in dry mouth syndrome, folks have to be diligent in maximizing the resources available to increase salivary production.
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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 practices with daily flossing and brushing.
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One may purchase over the counter fluoride rinses that help in providing an extra barrier to help in protecting the teeth from 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.