Dry mouth commonly referred to as xerostomia is a chronic condition that affects a large portion of the population.
What are the common causes of dry mouth?
1. Taking prescription medication including multiple prescription medications
2. Chemotherapy or Radiation for cancer treatment.
3. Conditions such as Sjorgen’s Syndrome, Diabetes, Lupus, or Cerebral Palsy
4. Obstruction or blockage of a Salivary duct
5. Nerve problems
6. Mouth breathing
8. Alcohol and caffeine use.
Saliva’s main function is maintain the well being of your gums and teeth by helping your mouth rid of harmful bacteria and virus as well as buffer the pH of your mouth. Dry mouth should not be taken lightly it. Dry mouth is associated with pain, dental disease including caries (cavities), infections, and periodontal disease.
What are the effects of dry mouth on your oral health?
1. Less saliva makes your mouth more acidic and therefore, more susceptible to bacteria causing cavities.
2. Without saliva to neutralize the acid the teeth become weak.
3. You teeth and gums are then more susceptible by attacks of bacteria.
4. Food is more difficult to chew and this leads to more wear and tear on your teeth.
5. Teeth have a hard time rematerializing (or strengthening) due to lack of minerals contained in saliva.
6. In time you can lose your teeth to decay or periodontal disease.
What are some things you can do to help protect your teeth from the harmful effects of dry mouth?
1. Sip on water frequently throughout the day. We recommend tap water because it contains very small amounts of fluoride.
2. Consider a diet with more chewy foods that are mineral and vitamin rich.
3. Chew sugar free gums or suck on sugar free candy to encourage saliva flow.
4. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine, as well as acidic foods and beverages.
5. Observe proper hygiene. For our tips check our previous blog here
6. Visit our Highlands Ranch Dental office regularly
7. Ask our Highlands Ranch Dentist about recommended products to combat dry mouth.
Do you have more questions about dry mouth? Call and talk to one of our outstanding team members at 303-694-9740 and schedule a consultation with our Highlands Ranch Dentist, Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons. Our family has been hand crafting smiles since 1982 serving Centennial, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Pines, and of course Highlands Ranch! We look forward to making your smile!