The enzymes in saliva initiate the digestion process of ingested food and break down food particles that accumulate in dental crevices, protecting teeth from bacterial decay. Saliva also functions as a lubricant, permitting swallowing and preventing desiccation of the digestive tract.
Prescription medications, Botox injections and surgery are treatment options for excess saliva, according to WebMD. The doctor selects treatment based on the cause of the excess saliva.
Causes of excess saliva include eating spicy foods, medication side effects, pregnancy, problems swallowing, and certain medical conditions and diseases, according to WebMD. Poor muscle control in the mouth and face is also a common cause of excess saliva.
Healthy saliva is neutral and non-acidic, with a PH reading of 7.0 or higher. The PH of saliva can change depending on what food and beverages are consumed.
Excessive saliva is caused by an increase in the body’s saliva production or a decrease in a person’s ability to swallow or keep saliva in the mouth, says Mayo Clinic. Some causes of increased saliva production include improperly fit dentures, gastroesophageal reflux disease and a mouth or throat in
During a saliva drug test, the donor collects her own sample under the supervision of a trained collector. To do that, she places the collection pad between the gums and lower cheek. Once saturated, the collection pad goes into a vial that the collector seals and initials. The collector returns the
Thick saliva occurs when the body has a hard time producing enough of it, which is often a side effect of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to Medical Daily. The most common types of medications that produce thick saliva are for allergy, cold and pain.
Depending on dietary and health factors, saliva can be an acid, a base or neutral. If the body operates within a normal range, the pH level of saliva stays between 6.5 and 6.8, which makes it slightly acidic.
According to WebMD, a person produces between 2 and 4 pints of saliva on a daily basis. The most saliva is produced during the late afternoon hours.
Salivary amylase, also referred to as ptyalin, is the name of the enzyme found in saliva. Digestion of food begins in the mouth, and this enzyme is instrumental in beginning this process.