How Dry Mouth Affects Your Dental Health
Teeth and gums rely on saliva to stay healthy. When the supply of saliva dries up, oral tissues become more vulnerable to gum disease, cavities, and other problems. The effects of dry mouth on dental health occur for multiple reasons.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
The absence of saliva is not always obvious on its own, but it can spur a host of symptoms. Patients with dry mouth may have problems swallowing and speaking, and often feel thirsty. Recurrent cavities and gum disease may not respond to good oral hygiene under these circumstances.
Why Dry Mouth Is Problematic
Saliva naturally carries anti-bacterial substances and nutrients. When the flow of saliva is reduced, harmful bacteria can more easily flourish in the mouth. At the same time, lightly damaged teeth may worsen instead of receiving natural repair by the body.
Dry Mouth Causes and Solutions
Dry mouth may develop with age, or because of disease, medical treatment, drugs, or tobacco use. When medical treatment or a disease is to blame, patients can ask their doctor about possible alternatives to prevent dry mouth. Sipping water, chewing sugar-free gum, or using artificial saliva may be recommended to keep the mouth from staying dry.
If you are suffering from dry mouth, Dr. Assili and Dr. Elyson may recommend that you take extra care of your teeth and gums at home and receive check-ups more frequently. When possible, taking steps to resolve the problem can help maintain better teeth and gums over time.
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