The human body offers amazing ways to maintain physical health. One of its simple methods for cleaning teeth is washing them with saliva. This natural moisture helps neutralize acids, washes away food particles and reduces the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, age, illness and medications can reduce the mouth’s ability to create natural moisture.
Dental patients of Dr. E. Scott Saltzman in the Raleigh Triangle often ask what they can do to ease dry mouth and prevent its damage to their teeth.
Dr. Saltzman provides four key facts about dry mouth and dental health:
- Symptoms: Dry mouth can present in many ways, including a reduced ability to taste food, sore throat, difficulty speaking or chewing, and bad breath. Some people may notice the dryness in their mouth or that their saliva feels thick or stringy.
- Causes: Many medications, both over the counter and prescription, can cause dry mouth. Also, health conditions including diabetes, stroke and autoimmune diseases often result in decreased saliva. It’s also natural to produce less saliva as people age. Both snoring and mouth-breathing play a part.
- Dental health: With the important role that saliva has in keeping the mouth clean, it’s obvious that anyone with dry mouth is at a greater risk for cavities. But the condition also contributes to gum disease and leaves the patient at risk for mouth infections. Home dental care becomes even more important for those with dry mouth.
- Treatments: Although drinking water doesn’t cure dry mouth, it can ensure proper hydration and provide rinsing action for teeth and gums. Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candies is also recommended. Patients with dry mouth should switch from an alcohol-based mouth rinse to one without alcohol. An over-the-counter saliva substitute can provide relief for some patients. Finally, if medication is the cause, speak to your doctor about a change in the prescription.
Are you experiencing dry mouth? Contact E. Scott Saltzman DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to make an appointment and discuss treatment options with Dr. Saltzman. He treats all ages and is accepting new patients.
This informative post about dry mouth and dental health is brought to you by Saltzman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Cary NC. Please call us for an appointment today.
919 380 9311
202 Town Village Drive
Cary, NC 27513
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The material contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice in any manner or form. Always consult a dentist, doctor or licensed medical professional with any questions.