Saliva: FAQs

Do you have questions about saliva but you feel like it’s something you should know? Maybe you think that this topic isn’t very important and that you should be focused on other oral health related topics, so you shy away from bringing up your thoughts during visits with us. We want to reassure you that all questions are valid and that discovering what maintains your moist, healthy mouth is certainly worth learning about. We’re getting you started off on the right foot with a Q&A session that should help.

Questions and Answers

Question: Where does the saliva in my mouth come from?

Answer: It comes from four pairs of major salivary glands. These glands are your parotid, sublingual, submandibular, and your buccal glands. The glands produce the “spit” your mouth needs, which is then sent through ducts (or tubes) into your mouth, so tissues remain wet and healthy.

Question: What is saliva made out of?

Answer: To break down what this substance is made out of in a basic way, it’s primarily composed of water. After that, a very small percentage includes enzymes (which break down the food that you eat), as well as electrolytes, mucus, and agents that keep your smile from becoming infected by bacteria.

Question: Why is it so important that I have saliva? Is it there for a particular purpose?

Answer: It’s important because it aids in breaking down food, keeping your mouth moist enough to talk, smile, and eat, because it helps you taste your food, and it even protects you from bacterial buildup (and issues like decay).