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Saliva and Oral Health

Saliva produced in the mouth is an important weapon for healthy teeth. Whilst it is a subject not highly spoken about, it is actually very important for a happy and healthy long-term smile. Without enough production of saliva, you’re open to experiencing dry mouth and difficulties in overall mouth functioning such as chewing and speaking. You’re also open to tooth decay which will require dental emergency treatment, infection and a weakened immune system, which is also vital for positive oral health.

Below explains how in greater detail.

Saliva from the mouth

What Is Saliva?

Saliva comprises of water, mucus, amylase and proteins that keep your mouth moist, and is designed to protect your mouth from bacteria, known as Streptococcus mutans. Amylase breaks down starch food, and the digestive functions moisten food so food can be swallowed.

Saliva acts as a key line of defence to keep your enamel away from bacteria. Although, when bad bacteria penetrate inside the mouth, it can cling onto teeth and produce acid, a trigger for your enamel to recede and for a cavity to form. A cavity is a hole formed in the centre of the tooth.

Saliva minimizes germs and also lowers the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay occurs when there is low mineralization of the enamel.

How Is Saliva Produced?

Saliva is produced from salivary glands. Although saliva is 98% water, it contains important substances such as enzymes that develop in and around the mouth to allow digestion of food, for simple swallowing and protection from infection.

The body produces about two to four pints of saliva a day. It is a complex fluid of the oral cavity which coats teeth with oral mucosa, comprising on mucinous substances (moisture) and antibacterial components. Saliva ensures the oral cavity is lubricated with immune properties that act as a barrier to fight off infection.

Issues Of Low Saliva

Without production of saliva, you’re introducing dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition that causes the gums and the tongue to induce swelling when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is often the result of dehydration when you do not have enough fluids in the body.

Other causes of dry mouth can include:

  • Dehydration
  • Lifestyle including smoking and consuming alcohol
  • Side-effects of diseases, infections and certain medications

Food and Drink That Stimulate Saliva

With high-levels of saliva, you’re minimizing the risk of dry mouth. Consume the following to keep saliva production strong:

  • Water – Drinking water frequently keeps the mouth moist and neutralizes acids forming in the body.
  • Sugarless Chewing Gum – Chewing sugarless gum helps to stimulate saliva production where the saliva can last for up to one to two hours.
  • Broths, Gravy and Soups – Eat moist foods such as this at a cool temperature. Ensure that these foods are contained in a meal.
  • Avoid Dry Foods – Foods such as dry meat, dry fruits and dry snacks should only be consumed moderately or not consumed altogether.

Family with strong oral health

The Key Benefits To Oral Health

There are many benefits of saliva production to your oral health to keep teeth protected from disease or infection:

  • Acid Neutralizer – Saliva helps to neutralize acids from the food and drink we consume. This protects the soft tissue and teeth from decay.
  • Cavity Protection – One of the most important benefits of saliva is protection from a cavity. Bacteria can yield acid that damages enamel causing holes in teeth (cavity). Saliva contains the essential property of calcium to help remineralize enamel.
  • Healing Properties – If you accidentally bite your lip or you have sores and spots owing to oral cancer, saliva can help speed up healing to regenerate damaged tissue.

Saliva production is an essential property for a happy and healthy mouth. Read here to learn more about how dry mouth can cause cavities to form. If you’re experiencing dry mouth and need support, contact our help Docklands dentist team today.

white-teeth-smile

The Oral Health and Immune System Connection

Most struggle to associate overall health with oral health. You shouldn’t be surprised to know that there is a strong link between the two. Consider your mouth as the first line of defence to adverse health conditions. The state of your oral health is also a strong indication of how healthy you are.

Breaking this down further, your oral hygiene plays a big part in this, because your immune system is connected to your whole body, and if you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, you’re at risk of introducing adverse health conditions that can cause major issues to your overall health.

Research continues to link your immune system with oral health. Poor oral health links to gum disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and other harmful health conditions.

The Immune System And Bacteria

The immune system’s fundamental role is to protect your body from harmful substances and germs. Antigens attach to immune system cells to trigger defence processes to fight them off. Antigen comprises of one disease-causing germ that is linked to oral health; bacteria. In your mouth, bacteria can thrive in a good and bad way, and most oral health problems are triggered by bad bacteria.

  • Plaque Build-Up – When food particles remain on teeth, this becomes a trigger for plaque to build around your teeth. Plaque is a sticky pale yellow substance that forms on teeth with the combination of saliva, the first stage of tooth decay. High saliva production reaps many benefits to your oral health.
  • Gum Disease – Also known as periodontitis, which is a serious gum infection that can damage the underlying soft tissue. Eventually, your bone will begin to recede and cause teeth to fall out. The oral bacteria can play a role in diabetes, whilst limiting the body’s resistance to infection.
  • Cavity – Cavity forms from high levels of sugar, where the bacteria in the mouth turn into acids. When plaque penetrates in the mouth and dissolves the enamel, this creates a hole in the centre of the tooth known as the cavity.

Cavities formed on teeth

The Immune System And Inflammation

Inflammation occurs through the gums inside your mouth. This is a consequence of not brushing or flossing teeth regularly. The bacteria then penetrate inside your bloodstream, causing teeth to become further damaged and even fall out of its socket. This releases what’s known as C-reactive protection (CRP), a substance that releases the inflammation and can lead to further negative health conditions.

Strengthen Your Immune System

Making your immune system stronger starts from one place; the mouth. Simply start taking care of your mouth, but there are many steps to this.

  • Brush Teeth With Fluoride Toothpaste – Fluoride toothpaste contains properties that help strengthen enamel, prevent cavity and reduce gingivitis. Ensure that you brush teeth twice a day.
  • Avoid Sugar – Sugar is the major culprit for a weak immune system and an unhealthy mouth. Ensure that you avoid sugar outright and in meals. You can find sweet flavours in fruit and vegetables. This also contains calcium properties that strengthen your enamel too.
  • Floss Regularly – Sometimes, the angle of your teeth can mean your brush cannot touch all contours of your teeth. This means that food debris may still be stuck. Consider flossing to reduce bacteria build-up and to keep your mouth clean.
  • Avoid Stress – Believe it or not, stress can also impact your oral health. This decreases immune response and can cause ulcers and sores inside the mouth. More information about how stress impacts oral health can be read here.

Happy Couple Healthy Teeth

There is a strong link between your oral health and overall health, and it is important that you look after your teeth. If you’re seeking further support, or simply want a check-up at the dentist, contact us at Dentist Docklands today and check yourself in for an appointment with our helpful dentists.

Lady-With-Oral-Pain-Due-To-Stress

How Stress Affects Oral Health

You’re probably thinking about how stress interacts with oral health. You may be surprised to know that ongoing stress can lead to a range of mental and physical issues, including damage to your teeth and gums. Whilst you may already be aware of the physical and emotional symptoms of stress such as headaches, stomach pain and anxiety, one of the unknown factors is how it impacts your oral health.

There are many steps you can take almost immediately to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for the long-term, otherwise, you’ll require frequent appointments at the dentist for treatment. For now, let’s take a look at the oral conditions that can be caused by stress.

Let’s get right into it.

Lady With Oral Pain

Jaw and Facial Soreness

You’re likely to experience a tight feeling when you open and close your jaw muscles. Even when chewing down on food, this can become more difficult than you think. You’ll begin to experience pain around the ear and face when you move the jaw.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding, also known as Bruxism often relates to stress and anxiety. When people get facial pain and headaches, it can wear down your teeth. Those that grind their teeth are likely to do it during their sleep. To reduce stress, dental mouthguard is recommended.

Poor Oral Hygiene

When suffering from stress, you’re more likely to forget about your oral hygiene. This means paying more attention to your teeth, such as brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth after a heavy meal, and eating the appropriate foods that keep teeth and gums healthy.

Poor Immune Response

When stressed, the immune system’s availability to fight off dangerous diseases significantly reduces. High levels of stress then reduce its defences of keeping you away from other infections that can damage your teeth and gums severely. A strong immune system is essential for positive oral health. Click here to learn more.

Cold Sores

If you have something known as the herpes simplex virus, then stress will cause cold sores. This impacts your immune system, making it difficult to resist the virus. The virus causes sores on lips, gums and roof of the mouth.

How To Reduce The Symptoms

There are some simple steps you can follow if you suffer from regular stress and believe that you’ve seen an impact to your oral health.

  • Speak To The Dentist – First and foremost, make your dentist aware of it. They will assist in offering treatment options to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
  • A Dental Mouthguard – If you suffer from Teeth Grinding, ensure you wear a dental mouthguard during sleep. This creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
  • Eat Softer Foods – A balanced diet is important to protect the health of your teeth. Incorporate vegetables, egg and fish as these contain calcium properties essential for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Quit Smoking – Whilst it can be difficult to curb this habit, smoking damages your teeth and gums severely. Quit at all costs.
  • Meditation – Stress is not always physical. It can also be mental and emotional. Therefore, identify any meditation techniques that help to clear the mind from stress and to preserve energy. This will help you think more clearly and, subsequently, you will think about keeping your oral health in check.

Lady Meditating

Summary

When stressed, it can also lead to tiredness, impacting your oral hygiene and you’re more inclined to promote bad habits or indulge in unhealthy food and drink. Whilst staying on top of oral hygiene may not be as difficult, stress is one that can overcoat it and damage your oral health more than you think. Identify ways to keep stress levels low and your teeth and gums will thank you for it.

Are you seeking a transformation to your smile? Contact our helpful docklands dental team now and check yourself in for an appointment. Contact us here today!

Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips

Types of General Dentistry Services

General dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. Whether its an initial consultation to a transformation of your teeth, the general dentist is always on hand to identify concerns in your teeth and correct them.

dental check up and clean docklands

The Types of Services

General dentists are the main provider of all of your dental care needs. Let’s take a look at the services that a general dentist would undertake for your teeth:

  • Preventative Services – Preventative services are defined as a service that prevents your teeth from capturing any negative diseases and bacteria on your teeth. You can capture diseases and bacteria from environmental factors and lifestyle choices. Therefore, the dentist will perform preventative services such as cancer screenings, blood pressure tests, diabetes tests, and check-ups and cleans. On the side, the dentist will provide detailed instructions to improve your oral routine at home including some lifestyle changes and the foods you eat.
  • Restorative Services – Restorative services are defined as a service that performs treatments to replace missing or damaged teeth. The purpose is to restore your natural smile and prevent any future oral issues. Dental fillings, crowns, bridges and dental implants are all common restorative treatment examples. The pain you may experience is diagnosed and examined by the dentist before determining the best restorative treatment. You may be put forward for advanced treatment if the tooth is severely damaged or decayed beyond repair, such as a root canal.
  • Cosmetic ServicesCosmetic services are defined as a service that restores the way your teeth look aesthetically. Dentists are responsible for delivering a sparkling smile to transform your appearance and your self-confidence. Examples of cosmetic services include professional teeth whitening, scale-and-polish, dental veneers, and cosmetic bonding. Cosmetic services help transform the way you feel about your smile so that you can show off a more youthful-looking appearance.
  • General Health Concerns and Advice – Oral health plays an important role in your overall health. Some dental issues may reflect in other parts of the body. Such as oral infections which can lead to poor control of diabetes and an increased chance of capturing periodontal and cardiovascular disease. General dentists are trained to look out for these issues and refer you to further treatment if necessary.

Why not read here on how cosmetic services such as teeth whitening work?

local cosmetic dentist in docklands

You should look to book yourself into the visit to the general dentist every six months for a check-up. You never know when you could suffer a dental accident or emergency where your mouth needs attention. The dentist is in the best place to make sure your smile shines bright in front of positive oral health.

Are you looking to improve your smile? Are you looking to save a tooth? Are you in any oral pain? Contact Pinnacle Family Dental now and let our helpful team assist you.

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