Have you ever suffered from dry mouth? A dry mouth is more than just desperation for moisture on your tongue. A dry mouth can make it difficult to swallow food and even speak. It is a common oral health condition that affects up to 1 in 4 adults to some degree. Discussing your dry mouth problems with your dentist is very important because it can actually signal other health problems and make it more difficult for you to maintain your smile.
What’s behind a dry mouth? Although you may long for water, your mouth is really demanding more spit. An adequate level of saliva in your mouth will not only keep you comfortable while swallowing or talking, but it is essential in keeping your teeth healthy as well. Saliva helps wash away food or bacteria in your mouth and neutralizes oral acids. Low saliva production puts you at a 3 times greater risk for cavities and gum disease, which makes it important to tell your dentist if your mouth is chronically dry. You may need to add extra oral hygiene measures at home to prevent tooth decay.
What causes dry mouth? There are a number of reasons that could be causing your mouth to be dry, and most you cannot control. Prescription medications, especially multiple medications, are among the most popular dry mouth culprit. Chemotherapy and radiation often cause severe cases of dry mouth as well. Certain diseases like diabetes, anxiety, autoimmune disease, stroke, depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can also trigger dry mouth.
Regardless of your cause, dry mouth is a condition that needs to be addressed. Leaving your dry mouth untreated can lead to more serious and costly oral health problems. Your dentist can offer you ways to combat your dry mouth so that your teeth and gums are still maintained properly. Park South Dentistry professionals can recommend products such as special mouth sprays, dry mouth moisturizing lubricants, oral rinse and special toothpastes to help your mouth stay moist. There is even dry mouth gum to help stimulate the production of saliva. Remember there is more at stake than just feeling uncomfortable with a dry mouth; your smile depends on saliva to stay healthy!