There are preventive steps that we can take to keep our teeth and gums and every part of our mouth for that matter, healthy. We can brush and floss daily, eat healthy foods and resist the ones that we know are bad for us. The need for regular dental checkups goes without saying. Our own saliva is a natural ally in this quest for good oral health.

We brush and floss to remove leftover food particles from between our teeth. Saliva is the product of the salivary glands that are located throughout the mouth and is nature’s way of helping us to wash away that cavity causing bacteria.

Saliva not only helps our digestive process by softening our food and making it easier to swallow, but it can actually remineralize our teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and yet the minerals in this tough material can be broken down by harmful bacteria. Saliva acts to keep the enamel strong enough to resist being compromised. The proteins and enzymes in saliva can actually help to restore enamel that has begun to be demineralized.

“Dry mouth” is the common term used to describe the condition caused by a lack of sufficient saliva in the mouth. The more saliva your mouth can produce the better, but some outside factors such as physical conditions or medications can negatively affect the production. The good news is that saliva can be increased by chewing gum and drinking plenty of water, particularly with meals. A nighttime humidifier can add moisture to the air that we breathe in while we sleep.

We all strive to achieve good oral health so that we can keep our natural teeth well into our “golden years” and beyond. Teeth are meant to last a lifetime but they may need a little help along the way. By following a recommended regimen for dental care we can protect our teeth and gums from the diseases that can threaten them.

The doctors of Spokane Valley Dentistry focus personal attention on all their patients. Call 509-926-6261 and join the dental family at Spokane Valley.