Saliva is a clear liquid made by several glands in your mouth area. Saliva is an important part of a healthy body. It is mostly made of water. But saliva also contains important substances that your body needs to digest food and keep your teeth strong.
Saliva is important because it:
- Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable
- Helps you chew, taste, and swallow
- Fights germs in your mouth and prevents bad breath
- Has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease
- Helps keep dentures securely in place
You make saliva when you chew. The harder you chew, the more saliva you make. Sucking on a hard candy or cough drop helps you make saliva, too.
What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common infections that happen when bacteria, often from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. The infections can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type is a bladder infection (cystitis).
Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is another type of UTI. They’re less common but more serious than bladder infections.
Some people are at higher risk of getting a UTI. UTIs are more common in women because their urethras are shorter and closer to the rectum. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Around one in two women and one in 20 men will get a UTI in their lifetime.
Other factors that can increase the risk of UTIs:
- A previous UTI
- Sexual activity
- Changes in the bacteria that live inside the vagina, or vaginal flora. For example, menopause or the use of spermicides can cause these bacterial changes.
- Age (older adults and young children are more likely to get UTIs)
- Structural problems in the urinary tract, such as enlarged prostate
- Poor hygiene, for example, in children who are potty-training
Some of the symptoms of UTIs include:
- wanting to urinate more often and urgently, if only a few drops
- burning pain or a ‘scalding’ sensation when urinating
- a feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating
- pain above the pubic bone
- cloudy, bloody, or very smelly urine.
Can Saliva Cause Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Yes, during oral sex and other sexual activity, saliva often comes in contact with the genitals leading to the introduction of bacteria into the urethra, which can lead to an infection.
There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening, these include urinating after sex to help to flush bacteria out of the urethra, thereby helping to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). It may be especially helpful for women, or people who are prone to UTIs. However, peeing after sex will not prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Avoid holding in your urine, as this can encourage bacterial growth. Try not to wait more than 3 to 4 hours to pee, and completely empty your bladder each time. This is even more important if you’re pregnant as pregnancy puts you at an increased risk for a UTI. Holding your pee can further increase the risk.