It happens to all of us. Whether we just got finished exercising or ate some crackers, dry mouth appears in many different ways. However, it shouldn’t be treated so lightly, as dry mouth can pose a risk to your oral health. According to your dentist in Lewisville, dry mouth is a precursor to several issues you could have.
Keep reading to learn the important functions saliva provides as well as how to get it flowing again. Your oral health is at stake, so don’t let your mouth remain this way.
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when there is an inadequate flow of saliva to your mouth. If you’re body is reacting to external stimuli, such as exercise, then dry mouth is more likely to occur and should be supplemented with additional fluids. This can also occur from medications you’re taking, so be sure to tell your Lewisville dentist about them during your next visit.
Drugs that can cause dry mouth include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and diuretics. However, if you regularly experience dry mouth and aren’t sure why, it could also be symptom of a medical disorder you’ll need to speak with your dentist about. Saliva production is an integral part of oral health.
Why is Saliva So Important?
Saliva is the first defense against tooth decay. It also keeps the soft and hard tissues of the mouth healthy. It serves many functions, including:
- Washing away food and other leftover debris
- Neutralizing acids produced by bacteria
- Providing disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth
- Offering first-line protection against microbial overgrowths that cause disease
You’ll also notice many side effects that can occur with chronic dry mouth. You may have a constantly sore or burning sensation in your throat when it’s regularly dry. People around you may hear a hoarseness in your voice and your nasal passages can become dry, making it more difficult for them to fight airborne bacteria. You may even have trouble speaking or swallowing.
Eventually, tooth decay will start to settle in if your mouth is dry enough for too long. That makes chronic dry mouth a big concern for your dentist. Luckily, he has some tips on how to reduce it.
How Can I Reduce My Dry Mouth Symptoms?
Your dentist may recommend various methods to get your mouth producing saliva again. Those with mild dry mouth should eat sugar-free candies and chew gum to restore saliva flow. You’ll notice on the packaging if the gum is ADA approved, meaning it’s been proven to stimulate saliva flow and reduce plaque acids that wear down tooth enamel.
If you notice a more severe dry mouth throughout your day, your Lewisville dentist may recommend artificial saliva or an oral rinse to replace the saliva lost.
Don’t let dry mouth ruin your teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lewisville today to learn more ways to reduce dry mouth!
About the Author
Dr. Christopher C. Capehart, DDS, earned his bachelor of science in biology from the University of Texas at Dallas before receiving his doctor of dental surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He graduated in the top 10% of his dental school class and was elected to the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. To learn more about his passion for dentistry and his practice, contact him at (972) 436-1325 or visit his website.