Dry Mouth and its Effects on Teeth

Dry Mouth and its Effects on Teeth

Posted by Dr. Zin on Dec 16 2019, 11:05 PM

Dry Mouth and its Effects on Teeth

Your mouth needs saliva to function properly. Saliva will help in keeping your mouth moist, by breaking down your food and swallow as well. It keeps your teeth clean. It constantly washes around your mouth and teeth and fights tooth decay. Dry mouth or 'Xerostomia' is a condition that makes your mouth feel dry, affecting the flow of saliva.

How can you tell you have a dry mouth?

Some people have the feeling that their saliva may get thick and sticky, which makes it hard to speak or swallow. Some might have a 'prickly' or burning sensation in their mouth, making them sensitive to certain foods. The mouth gets sore, risking the formation of tooth decay and gum disease. In a few cases, the mouth gets red and shiny. If you have any of these symptoms, then it may not always mean that you have dry mouth. It is better to discuss your condition with your dentist.

What causes dry mouth?

Dry mouth may be because of several reasons, such as:

  • A side effect of a medication like heart, blood pressure, and depression tablets
  • Medical treatments such as radiotherapy, or surgery to the head or neck
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, and blocked salivary glands
  • Women who are going through their menopause 
  • Women who are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) 

What problems can dry mouth lead to?

Saliva is an integral part of your dental health that helps in preventing the acid attack on the enamel. Due to saliva, food that you chew, breaks down, letting you easily swallow food that you eat. People whose saliva is affected find a problem with swallowing. Saliva is essential to fight tooth decay. The bacteria that cause dental plaque, tooth decay, or gum disease can be avoided with the help of salivary action. 

If you have less saliva present in your mouth, it may be harder to eat drier foods. Sometimes, it can also affect your speech with persistent bad breath.

How can you get relief from dry mouth?

There are certain ways of getting relief from dry mouth. The short-term solutions are consuming sugar-free sweets or sipping water. It is necessary to use sugar-free products, as dry mouth can cause tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum encourages mouth to produce saliva. It would be best if you visit the dentist as he will suggest medications or products such as gels, rinses, pastes, and lozenges.

 

Call us (408) 963-6678 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Zin for a consultation at our office in Campbell, CA.


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