You may not think much about your saliva on a day-to-day basis, but when your salivary glands stop producing enough of it, the dryness can grab your attention pretty easily. Dry mouth is fairly common, and most people experience it to some degree when they’re thirsty, but when the condition is persistent, your mouth can become uncomfortable and susceptible to dental diseases like tooth decay. The truth is that you shouldn’t ignore dry mouth, since the prolonged absence of saliva can spell trouble for the health of your smile.
The Need for Saliva
You may already be aware that bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease are the result of oral bacteria forming dental plaque and attacking your oral tissues. As a result of metabolization, some of these germs produce foul-smelling volatile sulfur compounds; others convert sugars and carbs into acid that attacks your tooth enamel; and still others irritate your gums and cause excessive inflammation, damaging the soft tissue to facilitate gum disease.
Saliva is your mouth’s natural rinse and defense against the accumulation of these harmful microbes and the dental plaque they form. When dry mouth, or xerostomia, results from insufficient saliva, oral bacteria can flourish and initiate their harmful process quicker, significantly increasing your risk of destructive dental disease.
The Common Causes of Dry Mouth
If your mouth is dry because you’re thirsty, then drinking water can usually resolve your discomfort. If xerostomia is the result of an underlying condition, however, then treating said condition may be the only way to find relief from dry mouth. Dehydration, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension are but a few of the conditions that count dry mouth as a common symptom. Certain medications and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, can damage your salivary glands, inhibiting their ability to function and produce adequate saliva.
ABOUT YOUR TEMECULA, CA DENTISTS:
Oasis Family Dentistry is proud to provide you and the members of your family with the dental services you need, including preventive, pediatric, restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry as well as same-day emergency care. For more information about our practice or to schedule a visit, call our Temecula office today at (951) 695-2290. We proudly serve families from Temecula as well as Murrieta and surrounding communities.