While saliva, or spit, isn’t usually the focus of poetry and prose like tears are, this fluid is actually pretty amazing, and not just because you can launch it from your body with just a bit of oral gymnastics.
Saliva is actually essential for good health, protecting your teeth and gums while lubricating your entire mouth. In fact, it is actually on the frontlines of the battle against bacteria and infections, helps to break down food, and enables you to experience the sense of taste.
But, there are a number of other fun facts about saliva. Here are some of your Dallas dentists’ favorites.
Saliva is Mostly Water
While most people think of spit as being a bit disgusting, it’s actually around 99 percent water. The rest is a mix of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and hormones.
You Produce Enough to Fill Two Bathtubs Every Year
On average, a person produces about 0.7 liters of spit on a daily basis. Over the course of a year, that’s enough to fill around two medium-sized bathtubs.
Production Peaks in the Afternoon
While everyone produces varying amounts of saliva, and certain factors like age, dehydration, and food consumption can alert the rate of production, most people create more saliva in the late afternoon than any other time of day.
Spit Can Help Diagnose Diseases
By taking a sample of your saliva, your doctor or dentist in Dallas can potentially diagnose a range of conditions and diseases, making it a great tool. For example, specific proteins, antibodies, and other substances in your spit may indicate heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and a range of oral conditions, including cancer.
Salivary Glands Can Develop Stones
At times, individual components in saliva can crystallize, creating a stone that is similar to a kidney stone. In most cases, they pass through the ducts on their own. However, if one gets big enough, it can block spit from entering your mouth, creating a potential dental emergency.
Saliva Contains a Natural Painkiller
Opiorphin, a substance found in saliva, acts as a natural painkiller. It inhibits the perception of pain, decreasing discomfort.
If you want to learn more about the almost magical powers of saliva or are simply due for a cleaning, contact your Dallas dentist today. They will be happy to answer any questions you have while they give you the radiant smile you deserve.