Updated: Jan 3
Usually your saliva protects the teeth from attack by neutralizing the acids that are the acids that are produced after eating and drinking. Saliva normally provides protective barrier against sensitivity, erosion and decay. If your body fails to produce enough saliva, or it is of poor quality, or when you over exert yourself, the saliva may be unable to neutralize the acids in your mouth. This can lead to severe dental problems and bad breath if left unchecked.
How do I know if my saliva is healthy or not?
Tooth problems such sensitivity don't happen overnight. Provided they are identified and addressed early, problems can usually be corrected before damage occurs.
Your dentist can perform a simple saliva test that will identify in just a few minutes if you are at risk of dental problems in just a few minutes if you are at risk of dental problems due to unhealthy saliva. Think of its a routine check, similar to the blood pressure test performed when you visit your medical doctor.
What are some of the causes of unhealthy saliva?
Intake of alcohol
Intake of nicotine
Acidic foods and drinks
Number of meals and snacks per day
Dehydration/lack of water consumption
Medication and general health
What are some of the tell tale signs?
Dry mouth during sleeping
Dry mouth during the day
Lack of lubrication during eating, talking or swallowing
The taste of food has changed
Take a few minutes to consider the above and ask yourself whether you have any symptoms.
Ask your dental professional today for a saliva test.
- It's quick, painless, and simple.
What do you do if the test is positive and you are at risk?
Your dental professional will discuss with you a treatment plan on how to manage your saliva. Success however will be dependent on how committed you are to make it work.
The plan may require a change of diet, lifestyle or tooth brushing habit. Perhaps you will requite a regular application of a tooth creme or have a think protective layer placed over "at risk" tooth surfaces. Under some circumstances some restorative work may beed to be started.
This new methodology is part of a modern approach known as minimum intervention, that specifically focuses on identifying potential dental problems and, when required, initiates preventive measures to avoid permanent tooth damage.
When your saliva unhealthy your dental care provider will work in partnership with you to help maintain a healthy mouth.