Let’s take a moment to pay homage to one of those parts of you that gets very little kudos...your saliva.

Otherwise known as spit, spittle, or any number of colorful monikers to describe the oozy liquid that continually moistens your mouth. At least let’s hope that you have a continual flow of saliva, if you don’t, that’s really not a good thing.
saliva samplesSaliva is really amazing stuff. It’s mostly water, about 98% give or take, so definitely it is a fantastic lubricant, but it’s the other 2% that has some pretty crazy cool stuff going on.

First of all, your saliva is instrumental in the digestive process. It contains a very specific kind of digestive enzyme, amylase1, which is produced only by your salivary glands. Amylase1 (AMY1) is critical for the thorough breakdown of starches that will ultimately become the glucose that energizes the body. The pancreas makes a type of amylase as well, however, the specific type produced in your mouth is required for initial breakdown of food. When you eat quickly or under duress, your salivary glands do not have the time required to kick in with the Amylase necessary to break down the consumed starches. This will contribute to an incomplete digestive process, which can result in nutrient deficiency and digestive issues. It’s best to take a moment before you begin eating to appreciate your food and allow your salivary glands to kick into gear.

salivary glandYour Saliva is also packed with fantastic things like electrolytes, antibacterial compounds, and even pain killers! That’s right, pain killers. In fact, the type of pain killer found in your saliva is even stronger than morphine. Couple that with the antibacterial, immune boosting chemistry and you have a pretty good combination for self-healing. This is one reason sores or burns in the mouth can heal so fast; they are continually being washed with the soothing and protective fluids in your mouth.

See! Mom knew just what she was doing when she kissed our booboo’s better.

One final amazing quality of your saliva? The same chemicals that act as painkillers also act as antidepressants. Remember how much fun it was to blow spit bubbles when you were a kid??? Maybe there was more to it than just the mildly entertaining fact that we could do it at all.

saliva babyYour saliva is as unique as your fingerprint. It can also provide a pretty thorough overview concerning your health and wellness. Lately researchers have been able to isolate compounds found in saliva that can indicate whether or not someone has diseases that are otherwise very challenging to detect without invasive procedures. So, let’s hear it for your saliva!!

Ways to keep your saliva healthy? Eat quality food, drink plenty of quality fluids, and avoid drugs or other substances that dry out your salivary glands or elevate your stress levels. Need a little teeth protecting, breath freshening boost? Think of something tasty, then swish your spit... it will give your teeth a lovely spit and polish and wash your mouth with bacteria killing enzymes.