Dangers of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, which is also called xerostomia, is an uncomfortable condition that can result when too little saliva is produced. Apart from the discomfort, patients with dry mouth may find themselves struggling to chew and eat and experience difficulty speaking. They may also be facing serious dental health conditions if their dry mouth goes untreated.
Saliva lubricates your mouth and helps protect your teeth. Plaque forms continuously on the surface of your teeth, but saliva contains enzymes that help disinfect against bacteria, prevent certain kinds of infections and help protect teeth from decay. If your natural saliva production decreases, you may be may be at an increased risk of cavities, mouth sores and oral infections.
Causes of dry mouth vary widely and can include stress, medications, chemotherapy, diabetes and HIV or AIDS. If you are experiencing dry mouth, you will need to maintain excellent dental hygiene by brushing after meals and flossing daily. Visit our dentist every six months or on your recommended schedule in order to prevent other dental problems.
Fluoride mouth rinse or fluoride supplements may also be recommended to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. You may be able to stimulate saliva flow by chewing sugar-free gum or by consuming sugar-free candies. Drinking more water can ensure adequate hydration levels while caffeine, alcohol and smoking can increase the risks associated with dry mouth. If you do not obtain relief with at-home treatments, our North Hollywood dentist may recommend using artificial saliva products to reduce your risks.
Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your next checkup.
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