Saliva or spit has negative connotations: it may be use to insult or express disgust against somebody, or it may be associated with dirtiness, uncleanness, impurity, etc. But as it is, it has its beauty and usefulness. Most animals posses salivary gland for the purpose only nature and evolution can tell. Snakes use their venomous saliva to kill a prey and some birds utilize their saliva as glue to build their nests. Human saliva plays a vital role in digestion. These and other uses of saliva let us see the extraordinary other side of this trivial thing.
- It initiates digestion. Saliva contains enzymes that even break down chewed food at the molecular level. It also facilitates chewing; imagine a dry mouth-it would be very hard to chew and swallow the food. It also helps the tongue to taste.
- It protects the whole mouth. Saliva enzymes prevent bacteria from causing the teeth to decay. It also lubricates the teeth; it also makes the tongue, gums, lips and the side of the mouth constantly wet, acting as insulating material.
- It is an indicator of dehydration. Dehydration may cause fainting. One way to know that you are dehydrated is by feeling your saliva. In addition to that, saliva is a natural substitute to water.
- It is a means to spit out germs from the mouth. Saliva, as 98% water, collects other chemicals and germs inside the mouth. Germs can then be spit out through saliva.
- It helps detect cancer or other illness.
- It makes kissing more intense. Lovers kiss in order to show their intimacy to each other. Saliva moistens the lips creating a delightful kissing and romance. (One can even say that we all came from saliva.)
- It helps to turn the pages of the book. By licking one’s thumb, one can easily turn the pages of the book.
- It can help heal the wound. Animals like dogs lick on their wound to prevent it from bleeding. Does human saliva acts the same way too? Maybe.
Usefulness is equivalent to beauty. Let us count the uses of human saliva and we can say that it is part of the overall beauty of nature.