You may think it is just about feeling thirsty or dry, but there are potentially serious consequences for having a chronically dry mouth.
Saliva neutralizes acids in your mouth and limits bacterial growth. It also helps keep your teeth clean by rinsing away food debris. When you have a shortage of saliva, your oral health can suffer. The most common challenges are:
Increase in Cavities: Cavities thrive in a dry mouth. The situation can be even worse if you are using sugary throat lozenges, gum, or hard candies to feel more comfortable.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease: When bacteria is not rinsed away by saliva it gathers into colonies and creates infections like gum disease. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and has been linked to many life threatening conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Halitosis: Bad breath is a common side effect of having a dry mouth that can limit your social and relationship confidence.
There are things you can do to protect your teeth and gums. Be sure to:
- Talk to your dentist and hygienist about your dry mouth. They may have recommendations and suggest you come in more often.
- Sip water regularly
- Try sugar free options for throat lozenges or candies
- Chew sugarless gum to help keep your teeth clean
- Eat plenty of crunchy fruits and vegetables
And, if you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help.
Call (865) 922-1613