Any parent of young babies already knows that humans can produce copious amounts of saliva. Even as a young baby we have the ability to completely saturate everything that we encounter with excess dribble. It’s not that babies do it on purpose, it’s just a part of development. In particular, when teething a baby will usually begin to generate more saliva than they did before. However, saliva production doesn’t stop for us ever, unless we undergo a medical procedure. So that leaves us with a burning question. How much saliva do we produce?
Prepare yourself for a shock because this is simply amazing. We all produce saliva, but how much do we make? On a minute by minute basis it wouldn’t seem like much, but when you begin to add it all up the volume becomes extraordinary.
How much saliva do we produce? Breaking down the numbers
The average person produces approximately 0.5 milliliters per minute. That doesn’t sound like very much at all, but lets do some calculations shall we? 0.5 milliliters per minute multiplied by 24 hours in a day equates to 720 milliliters of saliva a day. Not quite enough to fill a small carton of milk, but still a fair bit. Lets keep working on the numbers.
The average person produces approximately 720 milliliters of dribble a day, or 262.8 liters a year. Now we are talking some serious numbers. That means in an average lifetime of 80 years, an average person can assume that they will produce about 21024 liters of saliva. That’s the equivalent of a small back yard swimming pool, of saliva.
Continue onto the next page for more facts about saliva.