Why do we make saliva? – Lilia, aged 7.
Thanks for your big interview, Lilia. I ’ m a dentist, so I know a piece about what ’ s happening inside our mouths, and I can tell you saliva is very authoritative .
It helps us enjoy our food, it helps sores in our mouth get better, and it fights cruddy germs – equitable to name a few.
Reading: Curious Kids: why do we make saliva?
But inaugural, let ’ s attend at how we make saliva .
Curious Kids: Why do tears come out of our eyes when we cry?
It comes from our salivary glands
Saliva is made in special pouches called salivary glands. These glands look like rows of water balloons that fill and empty into tubes called salivary ducts. As the balloon-like glands fill up, the saliva gets squeezed into the tubes, and then your mouth .
We have hundreds of little salivary glands dotted all around our lips and cheeks. We besides have six big glands ( made of hundreds of little glands ) in our mouth that produce most of our saliva ; four are under our spit and one on each side of our cheek .
Everyone produces different amounts of saliva, depending on how healthy you are and how much water you drink. In one day, you could produce adequate saliva to fill more than a liter carton of milk. In one year, you could make adequate saliva to fill two bathroom tubs. That ’ s a draw of saliva !
Saliva’s super powers
Our saliva is by and large ( 99 % ) make of water, interracial with utilitarian things like salts.
The ingredients in saliva are complicated, but that 1 % is authoritative. saliva can help protect us against cavities ( holes in the tooth ) by washing our teeth with particular salts. And because it ’ sulfur slippery, saliva stops the bugs that create holes from sticking to our teeth .
If you have a cut inside your mouthpiece or lose a baby tooth, saliva can help you heal faster. It can besides fight most nasty germs and makes it difficult for bad bacteria ( or bugs ) to stick and grow in our mouth .
Curious Kids: how do tongues taste food?
Saliva helps you enjoy the flavours in your food by helping your sample bud crack food down into smaller bits. It besides helps mash and mix food, so it ’ south easier to swallow and digest .
Saliva even helps you speak by making it despicable enough for your impudence, lips and tongue to slip and slide around your mouth to form sounds .
How can you make more good saliva?
Some people don ’ t make enough saliva because they may be brainsick or take medicine that stops their salivary glands from working well .
People who make very little saliva have trouble chew and tasting their food, can get a lot of cuts and sores in their mouth, can be more likely to get holes in their teeth, and have other problems.
To help your salivary glands make a lot of well saliva, you should make sure you drink plenty of water every day ( at least one liter ). Drink more body of water after playing frolic, specially if you have sweated a draw .
Curious Kids: how do voices come out of our mouths?
Hello, curious kids ! Have you got a doubt you ’ d like an adept to answer ? Ask an adult to send your doubt to curiouskids @ theconversation.edu.au