Saliva is very important for your oral health. It helps in the remineralization of the teeth and neutralizes the acids in the mouth to prevent infections from bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
It also lubricates the mouth to prevent injuries to the oral tissues from frictional movements in the mouth. However, at times, people suffer from a decrease in the volume of saliva in the mouth. This condition is known as xerostomia, or more commonly, dry mouth.
Effects of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by a number of things. Some of the causes of dry mouth include certain medications such as antihistamines, diseases like diabetes, nerve damage, chemotherapy treatments, and tobacco. Dry mouth is more prevalent in elderly people and women.
The decrease in saliva volume in your mouth can seriously affect your oral health and impact your quality of life. You might find it difficult to eat. Digest food, and even speak. Besides leading to anxiety, it can also cause mouth and throat disorders which can become permanent.
When you are suffering from xerostomia, your mouth will lack enough saliva to wash off the food particles and bacteria from your teeth. As a result, it will be difficult to neutralize the harmful acids from the bacteria. There will be a buildup of plaque on your teeth and you might experience tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
The teeth also lose their ability to remineralize when you don't have enough saliva in your mouth. Your teeth will, therefore, be unable to repair themselves and the enamel may get weakened. Furthermore, dry mouth increases your risk of suffering from oral thrush, burning mouth syndrome, and gingivitis. Your ability to taste and wear dentures also become impacted.
You should brush and floss your teeth frequently if you have dry mouth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You should also visit our clinic for treatment and prevention of further oral damage. Do not wait until it's too late. Call us today to schedule a visit.
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Frank Sioda 18676 Williamette Dr. Suite 202 West Linn, OR 97068-1718