Dry mouth or what is medically called xerostomia is a health condition that results in a decrease of saliva in the mouth. Studies estimate that it affects millions of people in the U.S. It is more commonly found in women and the elderly.
Other conditions like stress, hypertension, depression, and smoking, exacerbate the problem. Some diseases can cause dry mouth like diabetes, active hepatitis, and Parkinson’s disease. When you experience dry mouth your oral health is affected dramatically. Saliva is a powerhouse in your oral care.
Lack Of Saliva’s Effect On The Mouth
Saliva is what aids the digestive process in the beginning by helping break down the food. It is responsible for washing away the acids that can build up on your teeth while you eat. The lack of saliva results in bacteria building up quickly on the teeth and making your mouth more vulnerable to tooth decay which in turn causes cavities. Without saliva to return your mouth to a healthy PH level, the acids left behind from eating proliferate into your teeth, causing cavities.
How To Protect Your Teeth From Cavities With Dry Mouth
Anything that can aid in causing your mouth to salivate throughout the day will protect against cavities. Use sugar-free gum or mints. They stimulate saliva production. Gums that contain xylitol fights cavity production. Brush and floss daily and uses an American Dental Association verified mouthwash that contains fluoride. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Give our office a call. As long as the dry mouth is a factor, it will be important to schedule visits to our dental office on a more consistent basis than the recommended 6 months. This will ensure that any plaque or tartar is removed before becoming a cavity. There are options for fluoride gel and other proactive procedures to protect your teeth while dealing with dry mouth. Give our office a call to set a consultation.