Most people take saliva for granted and swallow it without even thinking about it, but it can provide valuable information about your oral health and overall health. Each day, we swallow nearly two litres of saliva, and it’s a liquid that has important properties. Spit has buffers neutralising acids, reducing your risk of tooth decay. It washes away food particles and bacteria, helping to prevent gum disease. However, there are lots of reasons why you may not produce enough high-quality saliva.
Dry mouth is a common problem, and many medications reduce saliva production, causing this issue which is called xerostomia. Sometimes, your GP can adjust your medications to help fix the problem.
Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can turn your saliva cream-coloured or white, and it’s caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of fungus. Medication can help to clear up this condition.
A reduction in saliva production is sometimes associated with systemic diseases and particularly Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the saliva glands.
If you don’t produce enough saliva, ask us for help as we can provide useful advice on how to maintain a healthy mouth and you might benefit from more frequent professional cleanings.