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  • Question 1/12

    How much saliva does your mouth make every day?

  • Answer 1/12

    How much saliva does your mouth make every day?

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    Glands in your mouth are busy oozing spit all day long. They're on the inside of each check, on the bottom of your mouth, and under your jaw. Want to get an idea of how much saliva you make? Two to 4 pints is the same as spitting into 4 to 8 cups a day and filling them to the top.

  • Question 1/12

    You need spit to taste food.

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    You need spit to taste food.

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    Without the slippery stuff in your mouth, you couldn’t enjoy the sweetness of strawberries or the tartness of lemonade.  A dry tongue can’t taste food. It needs saliva. 

  • Question 1/12

    It's OK to put your baby's pacifier in your mouth to clean it.  

  • Answer 1/12

    It's OK to put your baby's pacifier in your mouth to clean it.  

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    The pacifier has fallen and there’s no sink in sight. What do you do? If you’re like some parents, you stick it in your mouth to wipe it clean. But the American Dental Association says it's not a good idea. Adult saliva may have bacteria that cause cavities. You can pass them to your little one when he takes the pacifier back.

  • Question 1/12

    Spit cleans the inside of your mouth.  

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    Spit cleans the inside of your mouth.  

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    Saliva does a lot of things. It makes food easier to swallow and helps you digest it. It also rinses your teeth and cleans your mouth. Keep brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, though. Spit isn’t enough to keep your mouth healthy.

  • Question 1/12

    How much of your spit is made of water?

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    How much of your spit is made of water?

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    More than 99% of saliva is water. The rest of it is minerals, proteins, and other things that help your mouth fight off infections and stay healthy.

  • Question 1/12

    Drooling a little in your sleep is normal.

  • Answer 1/12

    Drooling a little in your sleep is normal.

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    Have you ever woken up in a pool of drool? Relax, it’s pretty common. Here’s why: Saliva keeps your mouth wet, but you also swallow a lot. The spit goes into your stomach. At night, the part of your body that controls swallowing slows down a little. Your spittle can end up on your pillow.

  • Question 1/12

    Your mouth makes less spit when you chew gum.

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    Your mouth makes less spit when you chew gum.

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    Want to do something good for your pearly whites? Try sugarless gum. When you chew, your mouth makes more saliva. That helps wash away acids that can cause decay and other problems with your teeth.

  • Question 1/12

    Your spit can reveal:

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    Your spit can reveal:

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    Keep a lid on your saliva if you’re bashful about your age. Scientists at UCLA found out how old people were using only saliva samples. Their work could help police catch bad guys. For instance, detectives could find out how old a crook is if he left spit on a coffee cup.  

  • Question 1/12

    If you cut your finger, it's OK to lick your wound.

  • Answer 1/12

    If you cut your finger, it's OK to lick your wound.

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    Your mouth isn’t as clean as you may think. It has lots of bacteria that aren’t on your skin. If you cut your finger on a kitchen knife, use water to clean it. You could get an infection if bacteria from your mouth gets into a cut.

  • Question 1/12

    If your mouth is dry, you can buy fake spit.

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    If your mouth is dry, you can buy fake spit.

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    Does your mouth feel like a cotton ball all the time? You may not make enough saliva. Dry mouth can be painful and can cause bad breath.

     

    Artificial saliva, which you can get at the pharmacy, can help. It won’t cure your dry mouth, but it might make you feel better.

  • Question 1/12

    Vampire bat saliva has something in it that: 

  • Answer 1/12

    Vampire bat saliva has something in it that: 

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    Bat saliva has a protein that stops blood from clotting as bats feed on other creatures. Scientists have looked at whether a drug based on that protein would work as a clot-buster for people who’ve had strokes.

  • Question 1/12

     This can help people who drool too much.

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     This can help people who drool too much.

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    People with Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or other conditions can have problems with drooling. Doctors sometimes inject Botox into their salivary glands. The effects can last 2 to 3 months.  

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Sources | Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on February 19, 2015 Medically Reviewed on February 19, 2015

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on
February 19, 2015

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

  1. Thinkstock

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: “Drop Those Pacifiers,” “Learn About Artificial Saliva,” “Learn More About Chewing Gum.”

Bhargauva, Stuti. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology , August 2012.

Kidshealth.org: “Senses Experiment: No Flavor Without Saliva,” “What’s Spit?”

Mouthhealthy.org: “Saliva.”

Movement Disorders Network: “Parkinson’s Disease: “Botulinum Toxin Treatment (Botox.)”

Roney, James. Evolution of Human Behavior, January 2003 .

The Merck Manual Home Edition: “Salivary Gland Disorders.”

The Hospital for Sick Children: “Drooling, Excessive.”

UCLA: “UCLA Scientists Accurately Predict Age Using Just a Saliva Sample.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health: “Clinical Trial Uses Bat Saliva Enzyme for Stroke Treatment,” “Dr. Jacqueline Gerhart: No Nail Biting.”

Wisegeek.org: “Are Dogs’ Mouths Really Cleaner Than Humans’?” “Why Do We Drool When We Sleep?”

 

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