Saliva aids in digestion of the food you eat. It is also one of the key ingredients in protecting your teeth from decay. Saliva’s roles don’t stop here as the body also turns to it to prevent infection and make it easier for you to swallow and chew your food easier. Saliva can tell you how healthy you are because it is one of the elements that maintain the balance in the body. As a matter of fact, there are medical tests where your spit will be examined to determine your health, including your risk of getting heart disease.
Saliva and Your Health
If you have thick, stringy spit, this could mean that you have dry mouth or xerostomia. Oftentimes, this happens to people who take over the counter medications for their cold and pain among others. Water that flows in and out of cells is decreased, so you are left with saliva that is as described above. If left untreated, this can lead to gum disease, oral yeast infections, and tooth decay.
Aside from the texture, you should also take a look at your saliva’s color from time to time. Clear saliva is definitely normal and it is considered healthy. When you have white saliva though, this means that you have a dry mouth. It could also mean that you are suffering from an infection and you may not even know about it. White saliva could indicate that you have a mouth or stomach infection, such as candidiasis, which denotes bacteria overgrowth either in the stomach or your throat. Digestive problems, such as chronic acid reflux, can also whiten your saliva.
Red or pink saliva is tinged with blood. You may have been brushing really hard or you have a problem with your digestive system. Sometimes, your respiratory tract can cause the saliva to have some blood in it. Seeing this color in your saliva is of course quite alarming, but there are many times when it is not connected to anything serious. It could just be due to improper brushing where your gums start bleeding and when you spit, you see some blood. However, if it is chronic and you didn’t brush your teeth prior to seeing red in the sink, this could mean any of the following:
- Mouth ulcers
- Gum inflammation or gingivitis
- Esophagus inflammation or esophagitis
- Peptic ulcers
If you just had a recent tooth extraction or any type of dental work, spitting some blood is often normal. As you can see though, the color of your saliva can tell you whether you are healthy or not. If you are concerned about what you see, make sure you talk to your doctor as soon as possible.