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.
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
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.
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.
Cat saliva that accidentally comes into contact with human nose, eye and mouth membranes may cause skin infections, flu-like symptoms and sometimes meningitis. Most of these conditions respond well to antibiotics.
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.
Common causes for thick and sticky saliva include dehydration, Sjogren's syndrome, dry mouth syndrome, sarcoidosis, iron poisoning and cystic fibrosis. Abnormally thick and sticky saliva is usually accompanied by other symptoms in all of these conditions, states WebMD.
Some possible causes of choking on saliva are hypersalivation, dysphagia and certain types of neurological conditions. Some very common causes for hypersalivation can be due to eating spicy or sour foods or taking certain medications. Overproduction of saliva also may be associated health problems,
The primary enzymes found in saliva are amylase, lysozyme, lingual lipase, and kallikrein. There are several others found in smaller amounts, but these enzymes highlight the main digestive and antibacterial functions of saliva.