The Dangers of Dry Mouth: Why to Take It Seriously
By Dr. Everett Heringer on May 08, 2015
The team here at Heringer Dentistry has helped patients in and around Bismarck achieve exceptional dental health and beautiful smiles, providing comprehensive family dentistry for problems great and small.
Dry mouth is a dental health issue that people think is minor, but there are actually some serious dangers linked to dry mouth, which we'd like to cover right now.
About Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Dry mouth is a condition in which your salivary glands do not produce a sufficient amount of moisture. This condition can be quite annoying and uncomfortable, though it can also be a source of serious dental health and general wellness concerns.
Dry Mouth Can Make Your Bad Breath Worse
Firstly, dry mouth has been known to make bad breath worse. This is because the saliva isn't present to remove food particles from the mouth or dead cells that are present along the insides of the cheek and along the tongue.
Dry Mouth Can Make Speaking and Eating Difficult
Dry mouth can also make it difficult to speak, which can be an annoyance, especially if it is a frequent occurrence. Difficulties with eating are actually quite common with dry mouth, and if it persists for some time, it is not uncommon for people to experience issues with health and nutrition because of their ability to bite and chew is seriously affected.
Dry Mouth Can Accelerate Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
When a person has dry mouth, bacteria is allowed to thrive in the mouth, creating more plaque. This has the potential to accelerate tooth decay and increase your chances of developing gum disease. Both of these can be guarded against somewhat if you do not suffer from dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Could Be a Sign of a Major Health Issue Such as Oral Cancer
One of the most serious issues related to dry mouth has less to do with dry mouth per se and more to do with dry mouth as a symptom. You see, dry mouth is a symptom that's often associated with oral cancers. Blockages in salivary glands may be the signs of abnormal growth, which is why all issues such as this need to be taken seriously.
Treating Dry Mouth
Treatments for dry mouth can vary. For minor cases of dry mouth caused by blockage of the salivary glands, an ideal option is to use sugar-free sour candies to promote salivation and dislodge the potential blockage. For more serious cases of dry mouth, the use of artificial saliva products may be most ideal. These help create mouth moisture and often come in gel, lozenge, and spray forms.
See Your Dentist Regularly for Checkups
Be sure to visit your dentist twice a year as scheduled so that you can have any issues addressed as soon as possible. Getting treatment early and undergoing regular diagnostic screenings can help a dentist identify a potential health problem before it is allowed to progress.
Learn More About Your Treatments for Dry Mouth
To learn more about dry mouth and how it can be effectively treated, it's important that you contact our advanced dental care center today. The entire team here at Heringer Dentistry looks forward to your visit and helping you have a healthier and more beautiful smile in the process.
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