Saliva, commonly referred to as “Spit”, is something that grosses most people out, yet it is extremely vital to every single person on this planet. Saliva is one of those things that no one really thinks about, and everyone considers relatively repulsive. This perception of spit simply needs to be readjusted, because saliva has many endearing benefits, and a few interesting facts! Below, are five fun facts that will completely make you rethink the way you perceive saliva!
Without saliva you wouldn’t taste food!
Believe it or not, saliva is crucial in regards to you tasting any food you eat! In order for you to taste anything you eat, you need your saliva to act as a solvent and dissolved your food to your taste receptors. A prime example which highlights how effective spit is in regards to taste is when one has a dry mouth, they’ll notice food does not have nearly as rich of a taste as opposed to the opposite.
Saliva contains natural painkillers!
Ever consider where the expression “lick your wounds” came from? Saliva is chalk full of pain killing bacteria, such as a substance called Opiorphin which essentially blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. This substance is so effective, it is considered more powerful than morphine. This is a pretty cool fact to note, considered Opiorphin is produced naturally in humans!
Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay.
Spit not only consists of pain killing substances, it also is rich in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride, all of which strengthen your pearly whites. The more saliva, the more protected your teeth are! This is the precise reason why most dentists are not opposed to their patients chewing gum, considering it causes your mouth to produce more spit. Saliva fights plaque and cavity causing bacteria, so you may want to rethink your actions the next time you get the urge to spit.
It’s 99% water.
Yes, saliva does consist of pain killing substances, as well as cavity fighting elements, these are both facts. What is even more surprising though, is despite having these helpful substances, saliva consists of mostly water! It truly sheds light upon how effective the 1% of other enzymes and substances are inside your mouth!
Stress or anxiety can decrease saliva production
The body has this defense mechanism called “fight or flight”, which is essentially designed to give you a spurt of energy used to overcome a frightening encounter. A way to conserve energy, is by prohibiting your saliva production. In a stressful situation your body is telling you, it’s time for action not time to eat! Interestingly enough, in ancient India, this natural bodily function was used as an admission of guilt!
Who would have thought that saliva would have so many purposes and benefits? It truly makes you rethink what is going on in your mouth on a day to day basis. Hopefully these little-known facts will make you reconsider buying that pack of gum, or bringing a water bottle with you before a stressful day at work! If you want to learn more about Broadway Family Dental, feel free to contact us at (781) 592-5919!