Saliva is a primary component to oral and systemic health. In addition to lubricating, saliva helps initiate digestion, distribute minerals, and acts as an antibacterial compound. Saliva production can be affected by smoking, drug and medication use, disease, stress, and aging. Decreased saliva production can significantly affect comfort, swallowing, speaking, and even taste.
In many cases, chronic illness and disease such as Sjogrens Syndrome, Hepatitis C, Diabetes, and Depression lead to dry mouth (xerostomia). These individuals may develop tooth decay, sores, and have trouble with eating and digestion.
Normal, healthy function of the salivary glands can help individuals maintain oral systemic health and aid in the healing process.