20 Fun Facts About Human Saliva
20 Fun Facts About Human Saliva
  1. Human saliva is 99.5% water. The remaining 0.5% is a mix of enzymes, electrolytes, antibacterial compounds, and various substances.
  2. Saliva plays a key role in digestion. It begins the breakdown of food with enzymes such as amylase, which breaks down carbohydrates, and lipase, which starts to digest fats.
  3. We produce about 1 to 2 liters of saliva each day, depending on the individual.
  4. Saliva serves as a natural mouthwash. It helps to wash away food particles and bacteria, which aids in maintaining oral hygiene.
  5. A lack of saliva can lead to dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, which can result in difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
  6. Saliva contains growth factors that aid in the healing of wounds in the mouth. This is one reason why oral injuries often heal faster than skin wounds.
  7. It contains the protein lysozyme, which has antibacterial properties and helps in maintaining oral health by controlling the bacterial population in the mouth.
  8. Saliva helps in maintaining the pH balance in our mouths. This is essential to prevent dental problems like cavities and gum diseases.
  9. A person’s salivary composition can be unique, similar to a fingerprint. It can contain biological markers indicative of various health and disease states.
  10. The production of saliva is influenced by the circadian rhythm. It is usually at its highest in the late afternoon.
  11. Stress can affect saliva production, often leading to a dry mouth.
  12. Saliva plays a role in taste perception. It helps in dissolving food particles, which can then be detected by taste receptors on our tongue.
  13. Our salivary glands can react to “food cues,” such as the sight, smell, or even thought of food, and can start producing saliva even before we start eating.
  14. Saliva aids in the formation of the food bolus, the small rounded mass of food that we swallow after chewing.
  15. It plays a crucial role in speech. It helps in the lubrication of the mouth and throat, allowing us to talk smoothly.
  16. There are three pairs of major salivary glands in the human body: the parotid glands, the submandibular glands, and the sublingual glands.
  17. The enzyme histatin found in saliva has antifungal properties, which can help to prevent oral infections like oral thrush.
  18. Saliva can act as a diagnostic fluid. It can be used in the detection of various conditions, including certain cancers, HIV, and hormonal imbalances.
  19. There are more than 700 species of bacteria that live in the human mouth. Many of them survive and thrive in saliva.
  20. The body typically reduces saliva production at night, which is why people often wake up with a dry mouth.
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