What is Dry Mouth and How Does It Affect the Teeth?
Dry mouth is a condition that is also known as xerostomia, and occurs when there is insufficient saliva to keep the mouth comfortable and lubricated. Temporary dry mouth can occur when you are dehydrated or anxious, but chronic dry mouth can be a serious problem that can make it hard to speak and chew. It can also increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues.
Saliva does more than wet your whistle. It kicks off the digestive process, flushes away debris, and helps remineralize teeth after an acid attack. It also helps neutralize acids in your mouth. Your body is continuously making saliva, and when you are healthy and well-hydrated, you are probably producing between three and four pints of it a day.
Medication and some systemic conditions can interfere with your body’s ability to make enough saliva. This can allow oral acidity to increase and cause damage to your teeth. If you have dry mouth, treating it can reduce the risks to your smile. Drink more water to stay hydrated, and chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free candy to keep your mouth lubricated. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and sugary substances, which can cause more problems with your dental health. Saliva replacement products are available if necessary.
Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Mondavi.
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