Did you know that your salivary glands produce up to one and a half liters of saliva each and every day? That’s because your saliva actually plays many different roles, such as:
Keeping your mouth from becoming dry
Washing away bacteria and food particles to slow down plaque and cavity formation
Moistening food to make it easier to swallow
Breaking down starch to simple sugars to facilitate their absorption in the intestines
Needless to say, it’s of utmost importance for your mouth to get good amounts of saliva. However, the salivary glands of people with certain health problems may not be able to produce optimum amounts of saliva.
For instance, bacteria and viruses may actually attack the salivary glands, causing them to become infected. This leaves them swollen, and causing the individual to experience pain. A person who has diabetes or suffers from alcoholism is also at risk of having swollen salivary glands.
Sometimes the root cause of insufficient production of saliva can be much simpler things. Not drinking enough water and breathing through your mouth are some of them. There are certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines, too, that can cause mouth dryness.
Making sure that your salivary glands are producing enough saliva is the key to good oral health and proper digestion. Any problem concerning your salivary glands should be seen by a specialist to avoid complications.
Just been given by your doctor a clean bill of health but you feel that your mouth is drier than usual? Don’t panic because it will only make your problem worse! What you need to do is compose yourself and continue reading. Below are some of the ways to improve saliva production with the help of food.
Ginger, cayenne pepper, cardamom and many other spices are very good at stimulating the salivary glands. It’s exactly for this reason why you should sprinkle more spices to your favorite dishes if you are bugged by insufficient saliva production. It will also help increase your appetite, which can be diminished by mouth dryness.
Snacking on apples can help improve dryness of the mouth in a couple of ways. First, the masticating action that you need to carry out prompts the salivary glands to spring into action. Second, apples are naturally rich in water, and that’s why munching on them can help keep your mouth hydrated.
The mere thought of eating citrus fruits is enough to flood your mouth with saliva — just imagine what will happen if you actually eat them! Citrus fruits are also loaded with vitamin C that can help in maintaining gum health. Just ensure that you rinse your mouth with water after eating citrus fruits to keep your enamel safe from harm.
Consuming vegetables that are fibrous and crunchy can help in stimulating the salivary glands. As a bonus, the fibers of vegetables help remove debris and food particles on your teeth that an insufficient production of saliva may fail to eliminate. Further, they supply your mouth with water, easing its dryness.
If you’re not a vegetarian, you may get your hands on a piece of your favorite hard cheese every now and then. Because it’s something that you find palatable, your salivary glands will naturally become more active. Hard cheeses also help strengthen your teeth, which are at risk of being damaged if you have problems with saliva production.
Last but not least, make sure that you drink enough water a day. Doing so is not only good for dealing with dryness of the mouth, but also in flushing out toxins in your body. It’s a very good idea for you to stay away from coffee and alcohol because their diuretic properties can only worsen your problem.