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Dry Mouth Is More Than Annoying, It's Bad for Your Teeth!

  • July 25, 2015

It’s great to see you again, Holly! Your dedication to your oral health and preventive dental care is made apparent by your visit to this blog from the office of Holly Dental Care. Protecting your teeth is essential for a healthy lifestyle, so it is no wonder you are concerned with maintaining your oral health.

Oral health care and preventive dental care are not necessarily complicated endeavors. As long as you practice standard oral hygiene activities, like brushing and flossing twice a day, and you make wise decisions concerning your diet, you are doing a lot to protect your oral health.

But sometimes even the most dedicated tooth brusher and careful eater can suffer from oral health ailments. This is because there are so many factors that go into having a healthy mouth. For instance, proper hydration has a drastic effect on the state of your oral health.

Dry mouth is an annoying and uncomfortable affliction, but is also a leading cause of tooth decay. If you are experiencing dry mouth on a regular basis, you could have some cavities or even gum disease in your future. So, don’t take this condition lightly. Do what you can to keep from having dry mouth.

What’s So Dangerous about Dry Mouth?

Although it doesn’t get much credit, your saliva does quite a lot to keep your mouth healthy. For one thing, saliva keeps your teeth and gums clean. When you eat, food particles get stuck to your teeth. These food particles will become food for unhealthy bacteria called dental caries. When dental caries feed on the sugar in the food particles, it creates acid as a byproduct. And that is what causes tooth decay.

When you chew your food, saliva is generated, and that saliva washes the food particles, bacteria, and acid from your teeth before they can cause any damage. On top of that, saliva actually contains natural antibacterials that repel dental caries. So even though saliva has a reputation for being gross and unappealing, it is essential for your oral health.

Obviously, dry mouth occurs as a result of a lack of saliva. So without the natural protection of your saliva, your mouth is largely at the mercy of dental caries and the acid it produces.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dehydration – By far, the most common cause of dry mouth is simply not drinking enough water, especially when exercising or spending a lot of time exposed to the sun. Aside from the general health dangers of dehydration, the dry mouth that results from not drinking enough water is hazardous for your oral health.

Medications – Any time you introduce chemicals into your body, you can change the moisture of your mouth. This includes pharmaceuticals. You sometimes need medicine to stay healthy, but don’t let your oral health suffer as a result. Be sure to take steps to ensure you don’t become dehydrated when taking medication.

Food – Cured meats and alcohol are probably the biggest culprits when it comes to food causing dry mouth. The best way to avoid the ill effects of cured meats and alcohol is the indulge in them in extreme moderation, and always accompany their consumption with lots of water.

Colds and Allergies – If you have a stuffy nose due to a cold or allergies, you will likely be breathing through your mouth quite a bit, especially while sleeping. This is a common cause of dry mouth.

What Can You Do About Dry Mouth?

Drink Plenty of Water – In most cases, staying adequately hydrated is enough to stave off dry mouth. To make sure you always have plenty of water, keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times.

Sugarless Gum and Hard Candy – When drinking water isn’t practical, some sugarless gum or candy will help generate some saliva to keep your mouth moist.

Humidifier – If your house or bedroom stay unusually dry, a humidifier or vaporizer can be helpful to combat dehydration.

Mouth Rinse – In some cases, if dry mouth persist, your doctor may recommend a mouth rinse to keep you from constantly dealing with dry mouth.

Holly Dental Care Can Help

Avoiding dry mouth is just one of the ways you can protect your oral health. Another way is to visit our office in Holly, MI for regular preventive care. We will help you keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright, so you can avoid more dental work in the future.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.