Posted .

Posted on April 8, 2015
Ever thought about spit? In my job as a pediatric dentist, spit happens. It’s kinda funny, kinda

gross, when a kid with a numb lip drools on his shirt after attempting a drink. But spit, or more

properly, saliva, plays a very important role in protecting your mouth. When I was resident at

children’s hospital I saw up close the pain and suffering of children with cancer who had

mucositis, a condition of not having spit to lubricate and protect the tissues of the mouth. For

most of us, spit is 99% water and the rest is mucins. Mucins are glycoproteins; they make your

spit slippery like glycerin and rubbery like egg whites. Recently researchers also found

glycoproteins also serve to prevent bacteria from attaching to your teeth that will lead to cavities.

Just imagine a microscopic war going on in your mouth with Step Mutans like little aliens trying

to land on your teeth, build a fort of sticky plaque and drill down into the enamel with acid. Your

body fights off the aliens with globs of spit suspending the Mutans into harmless prisons. Then

fluoride comes as air support to rebuild the acid attack and the ground troops of silicates and

detergents in your toothpaste blast the Mutans off your teeth! Reminds me of the final scene in

Matrix III or the Avengers fighting off those aliens Loki unleashes. Doesn’t that guy remind you

of a big Dum Dum sucker? Okay, I digress. Pediatric dentist brain. For questions or comments

on this blog, therapy for cancer mucositis, or any other topic on kids dentistry, email me at Yours, Dr. Greg (ref: