Saliva is the clear liquid produced by the glands in the mouth. The body produces and swallows saliva for various important reasons. Mostly composed of water, saliva performs functions that help keep the body healthy. Some of the important functions of saliva listed by WebMD are keeping the mouth moist, fighting germs in the mouth, and preventing tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
According to WebMD, there are conditions that can affect the amount of saliva a person produces. A dry mouth is a condition where too little saliva is produced. This can be caused by dehydration, smoking, chemotherapy and certain diseases such as HIV and diabetes.
The Mayo Clinic also presents a condition where excessive saliva is produced in the mouth. This can be caused by mouth or throat infections, ill-fitting dentures, certain medications, stomatitis and pregnancy. If the condition becomes persistent and bothersome, the Mayo Clinic recommends scheduling a doctor’s visit.Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels