Dry Mouth and its Effects on Dental Health
One of the natural mechanisms the body has to protect teeth and the mouth in general is saliva. Besides making food much easier to digest, saliva protects the teeth against decay by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Moreover, saliva contains important elements that neutralize plaque acids and help repair early tooth damage. For these reasons, and others, it is important that the body be able to produce sufficient amounts of this lubricant and digestive aid. Unfortunately, there are times when not enough of this vital lubricant and digestive aid is produced by the body. At times like these, some people suffer from a condition called xerostomia or “dry mouth” as it is commonly called.
There are several causes of dry mouth including certain medications, nerve damage, smoking or tobacco chewing and dehydration. The symptoms of dry mouth – apart from a parched mouth – are frequent thirst, sores in the mouth, bad breath and hoarseness. The main thing for people to remember who suffer from this condition that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease is that it can be treated by a number of methods. Treatment methods include chewing sugar-free gum, regular brushing, over-the-counter medications and drinking copiousness amounts of water. Of course, the first step to treatment is diagnosis and here is where consulting with a dental professional is critical. If you believe you have chronic dry mouth you should talk to your dentist so that he or she can find a cause to your condition and from there determine a course of treatment. Family Dental Health Plans has a network of dentists that can help you with this condition and we have affordable dental plans to help you as well. Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you.