Why Does My Mouth Produce Saliva?

Have you asked yourself, “Why does my mouth produce saliva?” If so, you’re in luck! Today, we’re explaining what saliva is and what purpose it serves for your oral health.

What is Saliva?

Yes, saliva: everyone’s favorite water and enzyme mixture that helps break down food and keeps your teeth strong. While it may not be pleasant to talk about saliva during dinner, this fluid deserves special attention on how it plays a significant role in your oral health.

Saliva is a clear liquid produced and secreted from special glands around the jaw. Saliva is comprised primarily of water, but other parts of saliva include mucus, white blood cells, and enzymes that help break down substances. These enzymes also help break down food particles and plaque around the gum line.

Why does my mouth produce saliva?

Saliva plays multiple roles in the health of the mouth. These roles are primarily protective and assisting. Specific roles for saliva include:

  • Keeping your mouth moist, which prevents your mouth from becoming dry and decaying
  • Vital for tasting and swallowing food
  • Inhibits the growth of germs and bad breath
  • Makes chewing easier

Too little saliva in the mouth

Too little saliva in the mouth, or dry mouth, is a growing concern in the dental field. Having little saliva can dry the mucous membranes that surround the gums and teeth. This can lead to bacterial infections, bleeding, or tooth decay. It can also make eating and drinking completely unenjoyable. Needless to say, low production of saliva needs medical attention. To fight dry mouth, our hygienists recommend Ice Chips. Not only do they fight against cavities and bacteria, but to also help aid in producing saliva for patients that suffer from dry mouth. The lemon and other sour flavors that we carry in the office help the mouth to produce more saliva naturally than having to use other products. They taste great too so that is also a plus!

How to stop excessive saliva

You may also be on the other end of saliva production: producing too much saliva. Too much saliva production can get in the way of enjoying foods or can be an inconvenience. Here’s how to stop excessive saliva: change your diet or consult with a dental expert. Although overactive saliva glands may be a problem, a doctor can treat them.

Concerned for Your Salivary Glands?

Keeping your salivary glands healthy should be a part of your dental health care plan. If you’re concerned about your saliva production, visit Dr. Balle and his dental team today. Whether you experience dry mouth or overproduction, we can help.

The Risk of Intraoral Piercings

We get it. We understand that people are more focused on expressing their individuality and what they find attractive in this day and age. But where is the line between expressing your individuality and prioritizing your overall oral health? The prime example of this issue is the contentious relationship between intraoral piercings and dentistry. Are tongue piercings safe?

The Risk of Intraoral Piercings

Intraoral piercings are little gems pierced through the tissue of the oral cavity with the intent to express a person’s values and/or individuality. While they can be beautiful adornments to a person’s face, these gems have their risks. The risk of intraoral piercings include:

  • Excessive bleeding  
  • Swelling
  • Increased risk of bacterial or viral infection
  • Potential damage to teeth and gums
  • Recession of gums (gingivitis)
  • Increased salivary production
  • Potentially obstructs mouths functions, such as chewing and swallowing

In addition to these risks listed above, intraoral piercings pose a choking or swallowing hazard. They can also cause trauma to a person if the person performing the piercing does not place it properly in the mouth. For these reasons and more, the American Dental Association opposes the practice of intraoral piercings.

What can a patient with intraoral piercings do?    

Despite the overall unsupportive opinion from the ADA and the dangers of intraoral piercings, people will get intraoral piercings. If they do, they still need dental care to ensure their mouth is healthy. If you have an intraoral piercing, maintain a healthy mouth by removing it and letting the piercing heal.

However, if you choose to continue wearing your intraoral piercing, stay on top of properly cleaning your piercing and maintain a consistent brushing and flossing regimen. Bacteria, plaque, and germs can and will grow in the piercing site, contributing to infection and unnecessary pain. Keep your mouth healthy and stay the healthy, beautiful individual you are.

Get the Best Dental Care in Las Vegas

Do you have an intraoral piercing or are you still asking if gum piercings or tongue piercings are safe? If so, consult our staff at Balle and Associates. We’ll keep an eye out for your oral health and offer proper brushing and flossing tips.

Is Sugar Free Gum Good for Your Teeth?

At our dental office in Las Vegas, we listen to our patients. They say, “We want candy! We want it now.” On the outside, we smile and nod. Inside, we cringe and wish it wasn’t so. Candy may be dandy, but for teeth, it’s completely toxic. All those unnecessary sugars damage the teeth and can contribute to cavities. Luckily, there are some alternatives for patients that don’t make our Las Vegas dentist pull their hair out. Today, we delve into the health facts of sugar free gum and other candy.

Sugar Free Gum and Your Oral Health

Gum isn’t all that bad. In moderation, sugar free gum can be good for your teeth. It can increase your saliva production and help remove plaque from teeth. However, some gum can be counterproductive to oral health depending on the brand you choose. Gum pumped with additional sugars and syrups will contribute to plaque and tooth decay, which causes cavities.

When choosing gum, look for the ADA seal of approval. With this approval, the gum is proved to be sweetened with an artificial or natural sweetener that is either neutral or positive for teeth’s overall health.

Sugar free gum benefits include the increased saliva production and plaque removal. But other benefits include relieving stress and freshening the breath after eating and drinking. To clarify: yes, sugar free gum is good for your teeth.

Ice Chips in Las Vegas: the sugar free candy we provide

If gum isn’t for you, you can always try sugar free hard candy for your oral health. In our dental office in Las Vegas, we provide Ice Chips. This sugar free candy is sweetened with Xylitol, a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in most fruits and vegetables. It isn’t gum, but it has been shown to contribute to the mineralization of tooth enamel, which means lower risks of developing tooth decay and plaque. If you want Ice Chips, you can purchase a packet after receiving our Las Vegas dental care services.

Get the Best Las Vegas Dental Care Services

Whether you chew or don’t chew, keep your teeth healthy by using our Las Vegas dental care services. Whether you need preventative dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, our dental team can help you get the smile you always wanted. Schedule an appointment today.

3 Things You Could Do while a Dentist Completes Their Education

It doesn’t take a doctor to realize that becoming a Las Vegas dentist takes a long time. How many years does it take to become a dentist, you ask? If you go the traditional route, it can take anywhere from eight years to a decade. It takes longer if you specialize in a sub-category in dentistry. For this week’s article, we decided to make a fun list. Here are three things you could do before a student completes his dentist education.

3 Activities that Take Less Time than Becoming a Dentist

Make a trip to Mars

According to NASA, a trip to Mars would take almost two and half years to complete. A Las Vegas dentist hasn’t even started medical school in that time span. If you were to somehow get on the rocketship heading to Mars, you could complete a total of five trips before a specialized dentist graduates.

While that’s amazing and all, our Las Vegas dental office shutters to think about people who haven’t seen a dentist in almost two and half years. Hopefully, the upcoming trip to Mars has a dentist on board, or at least fluoride toothpaste. For all you astronauts concerned with your oral care, please read this.

Construct the Burj Khalifa

Did you know the Burj Khalifa took six years to construct? That’s two years less than it takes for a Las Vegas dentist to even start performing procedures on live patients. Of course, you would need to have a massive construction team handy to do so. Otherwise, it would probably take a little bit longer by yourself.

We would also imagine that people working in construction have dental issues. We’re not saying those who work in construction don’t brush their teeth or floss. What we mean is with all the debris and falling parts, someone could lose a tooth or more. If that’s the case, we have a page just for them.

Getting in and out of the DMV

Ah, yes, the DMV. The DMV is our biggest rival in the “Places People Want to Avoid” category. Most people who lump the dentist with something unpleasant like the DMV haven’t visited our Las Vegas dental office. But it does seem that a person can be in the DMV for years, almost a decade.

If you think about it that way, becoming a Las Vegas dentist doesn’t seem that bad. In fact, learning to become a dentist can be a rich and rewarding experience. Yes, it does take a long time, but by becoming a dentist, you can improve the health and happiness of hundreds of people for their lifetime. That’s well worth eight years.

You Don’t Need 8 Years to Schedule an Appointment

Instead of asking how to become a dentist, ask when can I see the Las Vegas dentist next! At our Las Vegas dental office, you don’t need to schedule a near-decade in advance to see our dental specialists. We offer dental services ranging from preventative dentistry to cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today before your next trip to Mars.

 

What Are Some Dental Implant Alternatives?

Despite the medical advancement of dental implants in Las Vegas, some people are still uncomfortable with dental implants. Whether it’s the surgery or the price, some people prefer dental implant alternatives. Here are the three dental implant alternatives we offer at Balle and Associates.

Here Are Some Alternatives to Getting a Dental Implant

Dentures

Some people have an affinity for dentures in Las Vegas. Either due to the comfort and ease, or to some of our patients, the quirkiness of literally pulling out your teeth, dentures have been the mainstay for people looking for alternatives to dental implants. Dentures are completely natural looking and functional; they can either be permanent or removable. Consult Dr. Balle and his associates to see what type of dentures in Las Vegas best for you.

Bridges

Imagine bridges as incomplete dentures. They only cover a section of missing teeth. This dental implant alternative is great for people who can still retain some of their natural teeth but are embarrassed by their missing ones. Bridges are constructed in a similar way as dentures. Your dentists in Las Vegas take an impression of your mouth and create a partial that’s comfortable to wear and clean.

Crowns

Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit on the outside of a broken tooth. This crown is typically made from ceramic, and it protects the broken tooth from bacterial infections and tooth decay. If it is required, the dentist drills part of the natural tooth away, then cements the crown over the tooth. He or she then cures it, so it doesn’t move.

Often, crowns are only suitable for one to a few teeth. In our dental office, we have the CEREC same-day crown machine. This machine creates a digital mold of the original tooth in as little as a few seconds. The results are completely natural looking. If you’re interested in receiving these smaller alternatives to dental implants, we can help.

Need to Replace a Tooth before Valentine’s Day?

Don’t spend 2017 walking around with missing teeth. If you prefer dentures or dental implants, the dental office of Doctor Balle and Associates can help. Our team of experts specializes in dentures in Las Vegas and other alternatives for dental implants. Schedule an appointment today and receive the best oral care in Las Vegas.

The Power of The Intraoral Camera

The old saying, “You have to see it to believe it,” still rings true in our Las Vegas dental office. When we perform regular dental cleanings, our patients say they didn’t know they had all that tartar build up or gingivitis. If they knew what it looked like, they would have built a more proactive approach in their dental care. With the advent of the intra-oral camera, dentists can now help their patients see what they see.

Intraoral Camera Reduces the Mysteries in Your Mouth

In the past, dentists in Las Vegas had to rely on X-rays and a collection of mirrors to see every part of a patient’s teeth. This ancient system is not without its flaws. Even the most seasoned dentist can miss a tiny bit of tartar. Sometimes, an X-ray doesn’t reveal the entire picture of the patient’s tooth, or other times, the patient sees nothing wrong at all.

Then came along the Intraoral camera…

Now, with the creation of the intraoral camera, these issues are a thing of the past. Patients can see exactly what keeps our dental hygienists and dentists in Las Vegas up at night. They can finally see the red irritation of gingivitis and the lurking danger of a cavity.

The intraoral camera is a simple device. It is a pen-shaped device fitted with a macro lens camera and a light. When held in proximity of the tooth, the intraoral camera will project an image on the screen for the patient and dentist to see. Be forewarned. While it can show a brilliantly white, straight smile in all its glory, it will show tooth decay, cavities, tartar and gingivitis in its glory, too.

There are two points to intraoral cameras. The first allows the dentists in Las Vegas to gather an accurate picture in hard-to-see regions of the mouth. The second is that it helps patients understand the effects of their oral care routine. Some patients claim they don’t understand the point of invasive procedures when they see nothing visually wrong. The camera helps them see that looks can be deceiving. Hopefully, when presented with the reality dentists see, patients can ramp up to their oral care in Las Vegas.

Visit the Best Las Vegas Dental Office

If you’re curious what your teeth look like under closer inspection, come down to our dental office in Las Vegas. We have the latest in intraoral camera technologies, and we can get your smile gleaming again. Schedule an appointment with Las Vegas dental care office today.