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Important functions and properties of saliva

The importance of saliva and adequate salivation is a health issue that often goes unnoticed.

In SS literature, saliva/salivary gland function is well covered (to a large extent due to its significant role in that illness) and is held with great regard as something that can greatly diminish one's quality of life once it is lost or severely impaired.

Saliva is essential in so many daily functions: eating, tasting food, chewing, swallowing and digestion. Lack of saliva or adequate lubrication makes speaking more difficult and voice quality can suffer.

Protein components in normal saliva have antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral properties which can decrease the bacteria that can stick to teeth.

Normal salivary flow has the ability to naturally wash away acids and bacteria and it provides a buffer against acidity, including gastric reflux.

Moreover, normal saliva contains beneficial levels of calcium and phosphate that help to replenish these elements to the surface of teeth. When this wonderful biologic fluid becomes compromised, so might be a person's health and well-being.