Why a dry mouth is bad for dental health

Do You Know Why a Dry Mouth Is Bad for Your Dental Health?

Did you know that having a dry mouth isn’t just an uncomfortable feeling that arises occasionally? Since the mouth is actually designed to be a consistently moisture-rich environment, a dry mouth can have a harmful impact on your oral health.

We’re not talking about the random dry mouth that happens when you get nervous or when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. It’s when the condition goes on for too long, like when you have a chronic dry mouth problem (called xerostomia) that you need to do something about it before you wind up with bigger health problems.

Saliva Flow And Your Dental Health

Your saliva is a sort of oral superpower because it is actually the body’s main defense against tooth decay. This natural lubricant helps everything moves freely in your mouth without becoming stuck on nearby oral tissues. Like an oral carwash, saliva rinses away harmful acids, bacterial residue and lingering food particles that would attack tooth enamel and lead to cavities and tooth decay.

Some of the other important tasks your saliva performs are:

  • Washing away food and oral debris.
  • Neutralizing the acids that cause tooth decay.
  • Breaking down food for so you can more easily chew and swallow.
  • Improving your tasting abilities.
  • Adding substances that actively fight disease and rebuild precious tooth enamel.

Without sufficient saliva in your mouth, you can get tooth decay, gum disease, fungal infections, cracked lips, mouth sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth. YIKES! While it isn’t a disease by itself, dry mouth can actually be a symptom of a health problem. Medications are notorious for creating dry mouth as a side effect. Let’s take a look!

You can find yourself battling dry mouth from:

  • Stress.
  • Tobacco or methamphetamine use.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics).
  • Certain prescription medications like antidepressants.
  • Cancer therapy treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Menopause, pregnancy, diabetes, nerve damage and even aging.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition where the immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands.

Gastrointestinal problems and Acid Reflux

When it comes to your digestive tract, gastrointestinal causes can negatively impact your optimal saliva production. If bile from your liver or stomach acids travels up through your esophagus and into your mouth, along with having a sour taste in your mouth, you can experience upper abdominal pains, coughing, hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn as this alters your salival.

Symptoms Of Dry Mouth

Along with a parched feeling in the mouth, other dry mouth symptoms can include:

  • Having a sore throat.
  • Problems swallowing or speaking.
  • Having a prickling, burning sensation in the throat.
  • Your saliva feels thick and sticky.
  • Having chronic bad breath.
  • Noticing a change in your tastebuds.

Treating Dry Mouth

So how do we treat your dry mouth symptoms? First, enlist the help of our exceptional dentist, Dr. James Powell! He can evaluate your condition, help find out what is causing it and find the right treatment for your oral condition. Keep in mind that our team takes a whole-body approach to oral health because neither operates independently of each other. Your oral health and overall health are connected and depend on each other for optimal health and well being.

After identifying the cause of your dry mouth, our Exceptional Dentistry team might offer the following solutions:

  • Drink more water or sugarless beverages (avoid caffeinated, alcoholic, and sugary drinks which dehydrate you).
  • Use artificial saliva or an oral rinse.
  • Chew on sugar-free gum or sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva production and increase the flow.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste which has antibacterial agents that lessen your plaque build-up and help prevent tooth decay.
  • Ask Dr. Powell about mouthwash to help prevent dry mouth.

If you have the symptoms of chronic dry mouth and want to find relief, our Exceptional Dental team invite you to call and schedule an appointment to find out the cause and determine optimal treatment for symptom relief. You can call us at (661) 349-7725 or you can request a reservation online. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health for a healthier, happier smile!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top