Hallsville dental care questions: How does dry mouth affect your oral health?
We’ve all experienced the sensation of burning thirst, especially during the summer. However, for some people it is more than an occasional thirst. It is constant or frequent. It doesn’t always happen in hot weather, during physical activity, or for any other obvious reason. Chronic xerostomia, more commonly called dry mouth, is uncomfortable and irritating, and it is often dismissed as a mere annoyance. However, it can pose serious risks to your oral health.
Chronic dry mouth is more than just thirst. It is caused by impaired saliva production, and it is a long-term problem for many people. Dr. Bruyere will begin with an examination, consultation, and review of your medical history to determine the likely cause.
Why saliva is important
The most basic function of saliva is to keep your mouth moist. It also assists in the preliminary stages of digestion and makes food easier to chew. While these facts are obvious, the protective and healing benefits of saliva are not as well known. Simply the fact that there is a constant, albeit small, flow of liquid helps keep food debris and bacteria rinsed away from your teeth. Additionally, saliva has ingredients that aid in neutralizing acid, preventing infection, and remineralization of tooth enamel.
Causes and solutions
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many drugs, both prescription and non-prescription. If this is the case, there may be alternative medications available; talk to your primary care physician. If the dry mouth is resulting from an essential medication, from a medical condition, or other unavoidable factors, we will help you protect your oral health and minimize discomfort. Simple steps such as avoiding tobacco, chewing sugarless gum, eating sugarless hard candy, and drinking plentiful water can improve saliva flow. Dental treatments such as fluoride or sealants can help protect your teeth from decay.
Many people tend to think of teeth and cavities when they think of dental care. However, oral health is complex, and a skilled, caring dentist can improve your quality of life in more ways that you might imagine. Dr. Bruyere and his team want to be your partners in great oral health, and dazzling smiles. Our Longview Dental practice proudly serves communities throughout the area, including Hallsville. Call our office at 903.708.6116 to schedule an appointment.