Saliva seems like such a simple thing that we take for granted (like most of our bodily functions and organs). But what is as simple as “spit” actually does far more than one thing for the health of our mouth and digestive track. It’s amazing when you realize things such as saliva are actually extremely important to your overall health. Without it, you’d have a harder time eating, breathing, and even speaking.
We’ve compiled the many benefits of saliva in a tidy list below. You’ll likely be surprised at what all your spit really does for your teeth, tongue, throat, cheeks, gums, and esophagus.
Lubricates your mouth.
The moisture from your saliva reduces friction between the tongue, lips, and cheeks to help you to speak smoothly and clearly. It also provides lubrication during eating for easier chewing and more comfortable swallowing.
Prevents food particles from sticking to your teeth.
Saliva rids the mouth of accumulated bacteria, viruses, and yeast that can attach to the teeth, gums and tongue, which is the cause of cause of various health, both dental and general, issues. Saliva physically wipes any such accumulation away.
Additionally, saliva can naturally neutralize food and plaque acids in the mouth to prevent cavities. Swallowing saliva can even protect the digestive tract by shielding the esophagus from harmful irritants, and can also help to prevent heartburn.
Saliva is essential for keeping gum tissue,the tongue, the throat, and the lining of the mouth all moisturized. You don’t want a dry mouth, do you? Your mouth feels normal when resting and moisturized, but if it were dry, it would be hard to speak, breathe, and even eat.
Breaks down food.
Enzymes that are naturally found in saliva help to break down food particles and improve your ability to digest the foods that you eat. This is one of the things most known about saliva and what most people will say is it’s primary job. Without saliva, any food you ate would be dry, harder to swallow, and harder to digest within your stomach by the time you swallowed it.
If you accidentally bite your lip or get a mouth sore, saliva will help speed up your healing. Packed with healthy enzymes, saliva repairs and even regenerates damaged tissue in the mouth. Saliva also constantly remineralizes the surface of the teeth (the enamel) for added strength after an acid attack.