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A beautiful, healthy smile depends on a healthy oral environment which protects your teeth and gums and keeps your mouth functioning smoothly. Along with daily brushing and flossing and having professional dental cleanings, saliva creates a protective environment for your teeth and oral tissues. Saliva travels through tubes known as salivary ducts made in the salivary glands, secreting a protective fluid that helps you in several ways.

Proper Saliva Production:

–Protects tooth enamel with its proteins and minerals.

–Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable.

–Helps you chew, taste and swallow food.

–Prevents cavities and gum disease.

–Keeps dentures in place so they don’t slide around.

–Fights germs in the mouth, so your breath smells better.

When your salivary glands are not functioning properly, you can develop a condition called “xerostomia” or dry mouth. Dry mouth causes the oral tissues—the gums and tongue–to swell which and causing discomfort. In such a dry environment, germs will proliferate and give you bad breath. In addition, consistent dry mouth makes you prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

To make sure your salivary glands produce enough healthy saliva, you will want to make sure you stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water and limit your consumption of diuretic liquids such as coffee, tea, alcohol, and caffeinated soda. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy also work to stimulate healthy saliva production.

Practice daily oral hygiene habits—brush at least twice daily and floss at least once—and see your dentist regularly every six months for professional cleanings. To schedule your next cleaning with Dr. Paul R. Tetting or Dr. Faith L. Tetting, please call our dental team in Appleton, Wisconsin at 920.739.9612 today.