Saliva and other oral fluids support both soft and hard oral tissue health by maintaining a neutral oral pH, facilitating swallowing and digestion, and protecting against the formation of cavities. Proteins, alkaline building blocks and other compounds in saliva help to clean and remineralize the teeth. The amount of saliva passing through your mouth can also determine a lot of factors about your health.
There is a spectrum of saliva secretion from low to normal range to high range. Low salivary secretion, or “dry mouth”, can contribute to the formation of cavities, digestive issues, periodontal disease, and other infections. Saliva overproduction can also cause a patient to be more prone to cavities and periodontal disease. Patients can optimize their salivary output with a balanced diet. Usually, salivary issues are linked with a sugary diet, leaving the patient with lots of tartar build-up on the teeth. Patients with abnormal saliva production are encouraged to have cleanings at least every six months, and possibly more frequently than twice a year.
The saliva ducts are constantly remineralizing your mouth with alkaline building blocks secreted in the saliva. This is a good thing for your overall oral health, but it can cause issues in the area immediately surrounding the saliva ducts.
The teeth near the ducts are at risk for calcium and tartar build-up. As stated in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association study, Why does supragingival calculus form preferentially on the lingual surface of the 6 lower anterior teeth?, close vicinity to adjacent submandibular ducts is one of multiple reasons that “supragingival calculus deposition progresses most easily on the lingual surface of the lower anterior teeth”.
Regular dental cleanings are recommended to keep calcium and tartar build-up to a minimum.
- Zhang Y, Sun J, Lin CC, et al. The emerging landscape of salivary diagnostics. Periodontol 2000 2016;70(1):38-52.
- Chojnowska S, Baran T, Wilinska I, et al. Human saliva as a diagnostic material. Adv Med Sci 2017;63(1):185-91.