Saliva is often ignored as one of the most important aspects of our general health, despite the fact that we produce almost 60 ounces of spit per day. This natural oral disinfectant certainly keeps gums healthy and breaks down food for digesting, but there could also be signs of more significant medical disorders floating around in there.
Saliva is a crucial player in oral health, and when saliva flow is disrupted, the risk of illnesses in the mouth increases. Saliva also has qualities that indicate other things going on in the body, and these indicators should never be overlooked.
1. What if I don't have enough saliva?
When your mouth is dry, it could be an indication of xerostomia, or dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. This syndrome is commonly caused by drugs and conditions including anemia and hypertension. There are certain over-the-counter remedies that can assist, so ask your dentist or primary care physician for advice.
2. What if I have an excessive amount of saliva?
Excessive salivation, also known as hypersalivation, is a common side effect of other conditions such as teething in infants, pregnancy, dental problems, acid reflux, and neuromuscular illnesses such as Parkinson's disease or stroke. Tell your doctor if you think you're creating too much spit.
3. Is the color of your spit important?
Oral candidiasis, often known as thrush, could be the cause of your white, thick saliva. This yeast infection manifests as as white spots on the tongue and mouth, and it is particularly frequent in adults with diabetes, as sugars in the saliva can promote yeast development. If your spit turns red after brushing, you may have bleeding gums or gingivitis, or perhaps periodontitis, which requires professional treatment.
4. What should the taste of saliva be like?
A sour taste in your mouth could be caused by reflux, a condition in which stomach acid rises up the throat and leaves a bitter residue on the tongue. If your spit is sticky, it could be a sign of mouth breathing, which could indicate sleep apnea. Frequent oral hygiene and mouthwash can, of course, improve taste and aid in the killing of various bacteria in the mouth.
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