The Importance of Saliva in Yorktown Heights - Dr. David Lerner

Focusing On Your Whole Body Health

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Saliva. Just the word can conjure an array of images in your imagination. From salivating at a delicious meal to studying Pavlov’s dogs to watching a baseball player spit, life is full of saliva! And that’s a good thing because saliva is very important for oral and overall health. Problems with saliva can lead to dry mouth, cavities, and bad breath. Read more below from Yorktown Heights dentist Dr. David Lerner to learn more about your saliva.

Composition of Saliva

Saliva is 98% water. It also contains electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Saliva travels to all parts of your mouth via “saliva ducts.” Saliva is made in your salivary glands and the contents come from your blood. Ancient doctors believed saliva and blood were “brothers” when it comes to a person’s wellness. Because saliva is so similar to blood, research is growing on how to use saliva samples to test for diseases. Saliva samples are already used to test for HIV, but studies are finding you can also detect breast cancer, oral cancer, gum disease, and viral hepatitis in your saliva! Saliva samples can also help doctors understand a person’s immune system.

Functions of Saliva

Your saliva is hugely important for hygiene, digestion, wellness, and more. Some functions of saliva include:

  • Calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions keep teeth healthy and strong
  • Antibacterial compounds fight disease in your mouth and prevent cavities and infections
  • Helps you taste your food
  • Moistens your food and enzymes break it down to aid digestion
  • Washes food and debris off your gums and teeth
  • Maintains countless overall health functions that we learn more about every day

The more you chew, the more saliva you make. If you have problems chewing or if your mouth seems overly dry, it’s important to see the dentist right away. People usually make less saliva at night, which is why it’s extra important to brush your teeth before bed.

Health Risks & Benefits of Saliva

Your health depends on your saliva and having just enough of it. Without saliva, you would be very uncomfortable, have trouble eating, and your breath would smell awful. Smoking, certain diseases, and prescription medicines can cause saliva deficiency.

It can also be a problem if your body makes too much saliva (hello, drool). A dentist or doctor can treat you for either too little or too much saliva. Remember to avoid contact with another person’s saliva if they have a contagious illness because spit can carry those germs. Treating a saliva imbalance can have many benefits for your overall health, including things like:

  • Acne
  • Cholesterol
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Heart problems
  • Allergies
  • Cold body temperature
  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to absorb calcium
  • Trouble conceiving children

It’s easy to take your spit for granted, but you’ll notice right away if anything is wrong with it. If you have any questions about saliva or how it’s related to your health, make an appointment at Yorktown Heights dentist the Center for Holistic Dentistry today. We can help you achieve your best oral health and overall wellness!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Sources

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/saliva

https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/saliva.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025121602.htm

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-is-saliva

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312700/

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"I can’t thank Dr. Lerner and his staff enough, notably his assistant Nicole for expertly handling my mercury filling removals.I had it done in 2 phases and they took very good care of me on both occasions. The whole office is very pleasant, so professional and I look forward to my visits. On this most recent cleaning appointment, Linda did my cleaning. She was gentle and thorough. Highly recommend."

- Vanessa R.

"Excellent experience during my initial consultation. The most complete examination I have ever had by a dentist, including full body muscle testing. This testing uncovered major alignment issues with my jaw which has been causing a lifetime of misalignment throughout the rest of my body. Dr. Lerner and his staff are outside the box thinkers and I am very happy I have found them."

- Greg R.

"Very professional and compassionate. Love the use of Nucalm, eye mask, calming music, and making removing my mercury fillings a pleasant experience. Well as pleasant as can be. Thank you!!!"

- Jodi B.

"Been seeing Dr Lerner since I was about 11 years old, I’m now 31! I continue to see Jane for cleanings and just did the zoom whitening treatment with them in preparation of my wedding- highly recommend!"

- Chloe L.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of The Center For Holistic Dentistry. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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What To Expect On Your First Visit

Our mission is to encourage full-body wellness through oral health while allowing you to feel heard and understand all your options. During your new patient exam, Dr. Lerner will spend time reviewing your health history, concerns, and goals. Your comprehensive exam will address items you may not have considered such as airway screening and dental materials sensitivity testing. We look forward to meeting you!

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