Why Is Wharton's Duct Important?
Saliva is a natural lubricant of the mouth, so the organs and ducts that play a role in saliva's movement are essential! Saliva's movement from the saliva glands to the mouth is crucial for our everyday actions. From chewing and speaking to swallowing and washing debris from our teeth, these routine actions we take for granted all need saliva.
Some issues can arise that relate to the submandibular duct. Occasionally, calcifications can block a duct, causing a salivary stone. In the event of a salivary gland or duct blockage, the saliva cannot pass through the duct as it usually would. This inhibits it from continuing on its path for its essential functions. It can also cause pain and pressure to build up where the blocked gland is. If left untreated, a lack of salivary flow can result in xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth. Xerostomia is a condition that can lead to halitosis (bad breath). It also has the potential to cause more serious oral diseases from acid and bacterial buildups since the saliva is not washing away these substances as it usually would. People with dry mouth are more at risk for gum disease and dental decay. We recommend consulting your dental professional if you notice any signs or symptoms of a blocked salivary duct. That way, you can catch the issue at its source before it leads to more severe symptoms!
While processing information about Wharton's duct anatomy may seem confusing at first, we think it's helpful to understand your mouth's anatomy. When you become more comfortable with the oral cavity's inner workings, you gain a better understanding of your whole-body health. And good oral health is imperative for good overall health! When we understand the risks associated with not following a routine of brushing our teeth and gums, cleaning between our teeth with interdental devices, and following with a mouthrinse, we become more likely to adhere to these practices. We believe it all starts with taking the time to understand the body's structure and daily functions.