The Importance of Saliva in Dental Health

Though most people don’t give much thought to it, saliva is key for maintaining oral health. Made of 99% water and 1% salts and proteins, the substance assists in everything from chewing to neutralizing harmful acids. Learn more about the importance of saliva in dental health. 

Saliva Destroys Bacteria

You have many bacteria in your mouth at any given moment. The bacteria create acids that wear down your teeth’s enamel, leading to tooth decay. To protect your teeth against an attack, a thin film of saliva covers their surface. At the same time, antimicrobial agents in the saliva destroy bacteria. 

Saliva Protects Tooth Enamel

Saliva doesn’t just kill the bacteria that cause infections and oral diseases; it also removes food particles that may be lodged between teeth. These food particles feed the bacteria and encourage them to multiply. By getting rid of these, saliva helps prevent the enamel damage that bacteria-produced acids cause. 

Saliva is also able to dilute sugars and contains phosphorus, calcium, fluoride, and other minerals that remineralize your teeth. Loss of minerals is often the first step in the development of tooth decay, so having a substantial amount of saliva can combat this issue.

Saliva Helps With Digestion

Another important aspect of saliva is the way it can help you begin the digestive process from the moment you put a piece of food in your mouth. Saliva contains an enzyme called amylase that breaks down starch, dextrose, and maltose into smaller molecules. In doing so, saliva makes eating easier. 

Keeping Your Oral Structures Safe

If you’ve noticed a change in your oral health, or if you want to prevent damage to your oral structures, you can turn to David W. Piper, DMD Family Dentistry. By calling David W. Piper, DMD Family Dentistry, at (727) 548-7100, you’ll get the dental help you need. 


I've been a patient of Dr. Piper's for the last 19 years so it's very obvious that I've been a very very satisfied patient. I had an excellent full check-up today with x-rays and everything was perfect. Perfect because I've been going consistently and following their experts on dental care, cleaning and good health! Bravo 👏 👏 👏
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Dr. Piper and staff are always very professional, I have been a patient for over 15 years, and happy about it. Just got my teeth cleaned and checked recently, Sandra is friendly and thorough, and the office felt very clean which is important.
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Staff were fast and attentive, didn't wait long before I saw Dr. Piper. The office is clean and organized. Was a great decision to use this practice and will be visiting again. Not a single issue. Cannot recommend enough.
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