Is your mouth constantly dry? Don’t ignore it. If adjusting your hydration doesn’t solve the problem, it can be a sign of other health issues. A dry mouth is out of balance, and it can lead to even more problems with your oral health.
Maintaining your oral health and healthy smile is more than just brushing and flossing. It’s about keeping on top of any changes to the way that smile feels. What affects your mouth, affects your health – it’s as simple as that.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
The medical name for dry mouth is xerostomia. Put simply, it means that your salivary glands just aren’t producing enough saliva to keep your mouth comfortably wet and lubricated. It can be the result of many different health issues, including,
• Disease of the salivary glands;
• Taking certain medications;
• Aging issues;
• Undergoing radiation therapy’
• Certain medical conditions such as stroke or diabetes.
Dry Mouth + Oral Health
There’s a direct link between dry mouth, saliva, and your oral health in general. Saliva is one of the body’s natural protections against tooth decay. It protects your teeth by neutralizing the harmful acids produced by bacteria. Saliva limits the growth of bacteria in the mouth, and physically washes away the food particles that contribute to their development.
Saliva has other beneficial properties that may surprise you. It actually helps you enjoy your food by enhancing the ability to taste. It makes chewing and swallowing easier, and the enzymes in saliva help digest your food. That’s a lot of powerful benefits packed into a liquid that – to us – looks clear and pretty innocuous.
Reduced saliva and living with a dry mouth can have a range of consequences to your oral health.
• Chronic bad breath;
• Saliva that is thickened and sticky;
• Dry and sore throat;
• Dry tongue that may appear grooved in extreme cases;
• Difficulties in speaking and swallowing;
• Problems with dentures;
• Cavities, tooth and gum decay;
• Sores in the mouth that don’t heal;
• Thrush, a yeast infection;
• Split or cracked lips.
What Can You Do?
Since there are many different causes of chronic dry mouth, the treatment is tailored to the individual and their situation. That’s what makes an early assessment so important. It is not a normal part of aging or menopause, and, depending on the cause, your dentist or treating physician can offer you a range of options to help. It’s not something you just have to suffer with in silence – let us help!
If you have any questions or concerns about dry mouth, or any other aspect of your oral and dental health, your dentist is the right person to ask. You’ll find the answers at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.