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The Role of Saliva in Preventing COVID-19

The role of saliva in preventing COVID-19

Our saliva is the protective layer we never knew we had until this pandemic. It’s interesting how every part and every secretion in our body serves a specific purpose. Learn more about the vital role of saliva in fighting against COVID-19 in this article.

Function of saliva in oral health

Saliva is a complex fluid that is 99% water and 1% organic and inorganic moleculesThe role of saliva in our oral health includes:

  • Diluting and removing sugars from our teeth and gums
  • Keeping your teeth healthy with high levels of calcium, phosphate, and fluoride
  • Eases the process of eating swallowing
  • Serves as an indicator for the detection and diagnosis of diseases  

The role of saliva in protecting you against viruses

Saliva contains proteins and peptides components that help fight viruses. The antiviral components prevent the formation of bacteria and keep caries and oral infections at bay. Disease-causing bacteria thrive in the presence of sugars that are broken down and flushed by our saliva. 

Dry mouth and COVID-19

Hyposalivation or the decrease in the amount of saliva impairs the mucosal surface in our mouth and affects the influx of antimicrobial agents that fight viruses. Without enough saliva, the surface of our mouth becomes an open door for the SARS-COV-2 or the coronavirus. 

Tips to relieve dry mouth

Dry mouth can be due to an underlying condition or a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Increase your level of protection against COVID-19 by following these tips:

  • Less coffee and more water intake: Keep yourself hydrated and never leave your mouth and lips dry. 
  • Breathe through your nose: Keep your mouth closed even underneath the mask to maintain oral hydration.
  • Avoid acidic and sugary drinks: Coffee and carbonated drinks can make you thirsty and turn your mouth dry. 
  • Stop smoking: Nicotine slows down the flow of saliva in your mouth that causes dryness.
  • Go to the dentist regularly: Your dry mouth can be due to an undetected dental condition or a side effect of your medications. Schedule an appointment with a dental professional for prevention and treatment. 

How Dr. Roy Jennings Dentistry can help you with your dry mouth condition

Dry mouth is one of the potential risks in getting infected with COVID-19. Even with all the equipment and preventive measures, it’s still essential to maintain a good flow of saliva for a strong mucosal immune system. 

Dr, Roy Jennings Dentistry in Monroe provides dental services that will keep patients suffering from dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia safe from COVID such as:

Flouride treatments

Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, fluoride treatment helps in eliminating disease-causing bacteria that builds up in your gums and teeth. It replaces the role of the antimicrobial properties found in saliva that helps in delaying or even preventing caries and other viral infections. 

If you feel that you’re experiencing unusual dryness in your mouth, schedule an appointment now for a more thorough diagnosis of your condition. If you’re having second thoughts due to the pandemic, contact us now to speak to our dental professionals.  

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