You should never ignore a dental problem, such as dry mouth, as it can lead to some serious dental conditions – conditions that could have been prevented if you had taken measures to increase your saliva flow. Because saliva is needed to protect the teeth and prevent enamel erosion, you need to treat dry mouth to improve your dental health.
How Does Dry Mouth Develop?
Normally, dry mouth or xerostomia results from certain medical conditions or from the taking of specific medicines. If the saliva flow is compromised, your mouth can become dry – dry enough to cause problems with the gum tissues and teeth. Not only can cavities form, you can suffer from infection and inflammation. When this happens, your gums will swell and become inflamed. If you have dry mouth, you may not be able to taste certain foods. Besides medications and medical conditions, a poor saliva flow can result from smoking or stress. You can also experience dry mouth if you have a salivary duct obstruction. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the neck and head can also decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth.
What to Do about Dry Mouth
If you do have dry mouth, we may suggest that your doctor adjust a medication you are taking or that you drink more water or eat more foods containing water. This will ramp up the amount of hydration you receive. It also helps to chew a sugar-free gum, which can take care of removing inter-dental plaque. If dry mouth continues to plague you, we may suggest that you rinse your mouth with an artificial saliva product. This item does not need a prescription. It is sold over-the-counter as a spray or a liquid.
As you can see, you can alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth, as long as you work with us on the problem. We are here to help you achieve your oral health goals. If dry mouth is currently a problem for you, don't ignore it. Give us a call today and scheduled and appointment and an exam.