Saliva is a fluid produced and secreted by salivary glands in the mouth. In humans, saliva is 99.5 % water plus electrolytes, mucus, white blood cells, epithelial cells, enzymes, antimicrobial agents such as secretory IgA, and lyzozomes.
- When you are nervous or frightened, saliva production is reduced.
Suck on sugar-free hard candies, ice chips, or sugar-free popsicles. Chew sugarless gum (gums containing the sugar xylitol). These sucking and chewing actions help stimulate saliva flow.
- Saliva is critical in allowing you to chew, taste and swallow foods and beverages.
The digestive functions of saliva include moistening food, and helping to create a food bolus, so it can be swallowed easily. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin. Thus, digestion of food occurs within the mouth, even before food reaches the stomach.
- Saliva contains antibodies the help promote skin healing and growth.
Saliva contains tissue factor which promotes the blood clotting mechanism. The enzyme lysozyme is found in many tissues and is known to attack the cell walls of many gram-positive bacteria, aiding in defense against infection
- Saliva is the primary defense against tooth decay.
Saliva protects teeth against cavities more than we thought. It contains salivary mucins, compounds that actively protect teeth from damage by the cavity-causing bacterium Streptococcus mutans, according to a new study.
- Saliva contains a person’s entire genetic blueprint.
A single drop of saliva contains a sufficient DNA sample to determine your complete genetic makeup.
- You can get salivary gland stones similar to kidney stones.
A salivary gland stone -- also called salivary duct stone -- is a calcified structure that may form inside a salivary gland or duct. It can block the flow of saliva into the mouth. The majority of stones affect the submandibular glands located at the floor of the mouth.
The stones cause no symptoms as they form, but if they reach a size that blocks the duct, saliva backs up into the gland, causing pain and swelling. You may feel the pain off and on, and it may get progressively worse. Inflammation and infection within the affected gland may follow.
The current world record for the longest salivary stone is 37mm long.
In such case, you should visit your dentist at the earliest for further evaluation.