Did you know… Saliva can aid wound healing?


Saliva can aid in wound healing – but you probably shouldn’t lick cuts or scratches!

A mum’s kiss seems to be almost magical. Although this is mostly psychological, there really is something physiological going on here too.

Everyone knows that healthy saliva is one of the keys to a good dental health. Our mouth is full of bacteria, and luckily our saliva has properties that help to fight them. One of the  properties of saliva responsible for bacterial protection is histatin. This is a small protein that can be found mostly in the mouth of humans and primates. Histatin is known for its antibacterial properties. Histatin can help prevent and fight conditions such as gingivitis. But this protein seems to be more beneficial than that. Scientists found out that histatin is also responsible for wound healing.

Low Saliva means a Dry Mouth

People who suffer from a dry mouth, which is commonly caused by dehydration, certain medications, and some autoimmune conditions will often find their gums, cheeks and lips are much more susceptible to cuts, scratches and ulcers. Doing everything possible to ensure that we can maintain plenty of healthy saliva is very important. This is a very important part of our approach to preventative dentistry.

And not just that. Saliva also hydrates the oral environment, which helps in the functioning of immune cells. There are also substances that inhibit the degradation of the tissue, promotes the closure of the wounds and accelerate blood clotting.

Wounds in the mouth and gums such as burns and scratches heal much easier than wounds in the skin and bones, and the presence of saliva can explain this.

As you can see, your saliva is way more important than you give it credit for. This is another reason to keep hydrated. A healthy diet and good dental habits and drinking plenty of water is essential.

If you would like to discuss your dental or oral health book a consultation with Dr Kate Amos or Dr Sam Rosehill at Ethical Dental on 6652 3185 or book online. To learn more about the importance of saliva check out our article Healthy saliva helps to fight tooth decay.


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