Understanding Saliva

Saliva, that thin, transparent, watery substance that keeps your mouth cool, moist, and comfortable is often overlook when it comes to oral health concerns.

When people talk about oral health, it is mostly a conversation about teeth and gums.


What most people don’t realise is that saliva is no less than essential when it comes to creating a healthy oral environment. Among the most important roles of saliva include:

  • Lubrication and binding of masticated food. Saliva is what allows food to slip comfortably through the esophagus without causing harm or injury to the mucosa.
  • Solubilisation of food. Essentially the main solubilising agent of the mouth, saliva is what actually allows the tongue to taste food.
  • Oral hygiene. Saliva is the very substance that keeps the mouth clean 24/7. It flushes loose food particles, bacteria buildup, and other pathogenic organisms that might be harmful to your oral health.
  • Initial chemical digestion. Saliva is what actively breaks down starch composition of food.


Saliva production mainly takes place in the salivary glands, which sits inside each of your cheeks, near the bone of your jaw. Chewing, among other oral activity, is what actively stimulates the production of saliva.

While saliva production basically happens all day long, it peaks in the afternoon and drops at night during sleep. And because every body is literally a little different from everybody else, what is generally considered as normal varies quite a bit, specifically between 2 to 4 pints of saliva daily.

The inability of the body, on the other hand, to produce even the minimum amounts of saliva required to keep a healthy oral environment often results in xerostomia. Popularly referred to as dry mouth, xerostomia easily compromises oral health and causes a wide range of complications, starting with rapid tooth decay and chronic gum disease.

Dentist Sunshine Coast

If you are suffering from dry mouth, or any other concerns regarding your oral health, it is best if you seek professional treatment from your local Dentist In Sunshine Coast. Committed to give people all the more reasons to smile, Smiles Nambour provides a wide-range of world-class modern dentistry procedures to the local Sunshine Coast community and its surrounding regions.

Come and visit your Dentist Sunshine Coast today. Book your appointment online or call us on (07) 5441 4438. Same Day Appointment Available, Request it Now!