3 Reasons You Should Be Thankful For Your Spit

Saliva. One of the most misunderstood parts of your bodily functions. Spit has gotten a bad rap over the years; many think it's disgusting, others spit in the face of those they revile. If you only knew the positive impact your saliva has on your oral health, you may look at it differently. This article will discuss 3 things you probably didn't know about your saliva.

What Exactly Is Saliva, Anyway?

Saliva is the liquid substance that is produced by the salivary glands in your mouth. It is mostly made from water.

Saliva's main job is to keep your mouth clean and break down food to make it more digestible. This is not its only function, however. Saliva also protects your mouth from harmful bacteria. It is instrumental in killing the bacteria that can cause multiple oral disease such as periodontitis.

Reason #1 Saliva As A Painkiller

One unknown function of saliva is that it can kill pain. Your saliva contains a chemical called opiorphin. This chemical can relieve pain in your mouth.

In one study, opiorphin was shown to be just as effective as morphine in fighting pain. This means it is surprisingly potent!

Unfortunately, science has not yet figured out a way to use opiorphin to relieve pain in the rest of one's body. However, you can still use it if you have pain in your mouth. If you get a toothache, swish your saliva around in your mouth for awhile. This can help you ease the pain of the toothache.

Reason #2 Nasty Breath? Use Your Spit!

Have you ever wanted to know what causes halitosis? Here's the answer: bacteria. That's right, it's an accumulation of bacteria that makes your breath stink.

Fortunately, your saliva kills this bacteria. As a matter of fact, your body produces less saliva at night when you're sleeping, and this is why you wake up with "morning breath."

Reason #3 Saliva Enables Your Sense Of Taste

Saliva also allows you to taste all of the delicious foods that you love. Most people don't know it, but if you didn't have saliva, you would not be able to taste.

The chemicals in the foods you eat need to be dissolved in saliva before your taste buds can actually taste it. Your taste buds must be moist in order to taste, and your saliva is what keeps them moist.

Saliva is critical for maintaining good oral health. If you feel you are having issues with your saliva production, speak with a dentist, such as at Arrowhead Family Dentistry, who can help you deal with the problem.