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10 things you probably didn’t know about saliva/spit

…rtain illnesses or taking certain medications suffer from chronic dry mouth, called xerostomia, which puts them at greater risk for cavities and other dental problems. 1) A healthy human creates between .75 and 1.5 liters of saliva every day. Salivary flow is reduced to almost zero during sleep which is one very good reason to brush and floss just prior to going to bed. I hope this primer has given you a different perspective about saliva. The…

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there’s a roller coaster in your mouth

…mp on the pH roller coaster every time you eat or drink something. The less often you do, the less time your mouth spends below the critical pH. chew sugarless gum after meals and snacks: chewing sugarless gum will stimulate saliva flow, and saliva flow can bring a low pH back up to a safe level more quickly than without. Roller coasters in real life are a blast. The pH roller coaster that goes on in your mouth isn’t as much fun. But, you…

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The Boring Dental Patient

…be deep or shallow. This is determined by genes. People with deeper grooves are at much greater risk to develop groove cavities. If you have reduced saliva flow, you’re much more likely to have dental problems. Reduced saliva flow can come from age (older folks seem to have reduced saliva flow), some illnesses and particularly from certain medications. There could be some genetic factors involved with your natural level of saliva flow,…

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Why so dry? Dry mouth and what you can do about it.

…s are known for their dry mouth side effects disease  Diabetes, HIV/AIDS and Sjogren’s syndrome are known to reduce salivary flow significantly cancer treatment radiation therapy of the head and neck can damage the salivary glands reducing salivary flow to almost nothing  chemotherapy drugs can cause saliva to become much thicker causing the mouth to feel uncomfortably dry nerve damage injury to the nerves of the head and neck…

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pH, your body and your mouth

…s acid can dissolve the surface of the tooth if it reaches a critical pH. The critical pH, or the pH at which tooth structure begins to dissolve is 6.7 on the root surface of the tooth and 5.2 on the enamel. Diet, habits and saliva flow have a lot to do with how well an individual defends against pH drops in the mouth. But these localized oral pH fluctuations are not the same as pH change of the body. You often hear claims that the pH of your…

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This is how you should drink pop…

…y the tooth bugs that are already there. Adding a bunch of sugary and acidic soda just makes it that much worse. So stick with me here. Each time you take a sip or a gulp of soda, the acid in it is attacking your teeth. Your saliva takes a certain amount of time to buffer that “acid attack” whether you just sipped or drank a whole can. So do the math. If it takes you an entire afternoon to sip yourself through a can of soda, you are…

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On chewing gum

Chewing gum can be good for your teeth. It also can be bad for your teeth and your jaw joint. Chewing gum will stimulate saliva, which is the major natural defense your teeth have against cavities. There are two rules that I have for chewing gum. Two and a half, really. They are simple and they are to be followed. Failure to follow them may cause this Saginaw dentist to hunt you down, call you silly names and revoke your license to chew. Chew…

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Double whammy

…this eating away by acid is demineralization. The acid acts on the hard surfaces of your teeth and leaches out the calcium and other minerals leaving a little hole. This acid attack isn’t simply a one way street. Your saliva acts to repair this demineralization and in most cases is able to fix it before an actual hole in the surface of the tooth forms. However, in some cases where a lot of acid is produced, a hole in the surface of the…

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Transmissible

…ease that is spread similarly to the common cold.   Tooth decay bugs are spread by oral transmission.  Basically we mean direct contact (kissing) or indirect contact (sharing a glass or spoon).  If you swap saliva in some way, you’re sharing cavity bugs.  I know, I know…it’s gross.  But let’s face it, we human beings tend to kiss on each other (and our babies) and sometimes share glasses or…

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how much radiation is too much?

…ble. Patients with a proven track record of low decay rate are an example of a type of patient that may not need diagnostic x-rays each year. Other diagnostic methods like high magnification with intense lighting, evaluating saliva flow and dietary evaluation can help determine a patient’s risk for new decay. For patients who have experienced cavities recently or new patients that don’t have a track record with their dentist, taking…

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