High and Dry: Why Dry Mouth Can Lead to Dental Problems

Jul 24, 2016 @ 02:14 PM — by belldental

A woman at a dental examThe team at our Lake Jackson dental care center knows that dental health issues come in many different forms. Some may affect the teeth, others the gums, and others still the jaw joint. In order to address these various issues as they arise, we offer comprehensive restorative dentistry procedures, all of which are able to meet the unique needs of patients.

Dry mouth is one dental problem that some people don't even consider a problem. As you are about to learn, there are many dangers that dry mouth can cause.

About Dry Mouth

Dry mouth refers to cases in which a person experiences a reduced amount of saliva production. This leaves the mouth with far less moisture than is ideal, sometimes to a significant degree. This can occur naturally as a result of nervousness or dehydration, or as a side effect of certain prescription medications or drugs, or it could be linked to a number of dental health and general wellness issues.

Minor Issues Associated with Dry Mouth

Think of these as inconveniences rather than dangers. When it comes to minor problems with dry mouth, patients will often experience difficulties with speaking and chewing. It can make eating certain foods quite difficult, and make communication a hassle.

Increased Risk of Dental Damage and Tooth Decay

When suffering from dry mouth, your saliva is unable to aid in the remineralization process, which leaves your teeth far more vulnerable to cavities and injury. Issues such as tooth decay and dental erosion may be exacerbated because of the lack of saliva. Teeth are made more brittle, and may be more prone to breaking or chipping.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

In addition to issues with tooth decay, dry mouth can increase your risk of gum disease, or it can increase the damage done by gum disease. When the soft tissues are damaged, that means gum recession, exposed tooth roots, and a host of potentially serious problems that can affect periodontal health and overall dental health.

Potential Sign of Oral Cancer and Other Conditions

Dry mouth is often a symptom of a number of health conditions, some of which may be quite serious. Chief among these dangers is oral cancer. The cancer may cause some growths that would block the salivary glands or impair saliva production. It's imperative that you meet with your dentist or general practitioner if you notice recurring or persistent dry mouth as well as issues with pain or soreness. Early detection of a medical condition is key to ensuring effective treatment when it matters most.

Getting Professional Treatment for Your Dry Mouth

Dry mouth will sometimes require treatment by a dental health professional. During the consultation and examination process, your dental wellness can be fully assessed, and the root cause of your dry mouth can be diagnosed.

For minor issues with dry mouth, patients may be prescribed or recommended various kinds of artificial saliva items. These goods will increase the moisture in one's mouth. They often come in lozenge, spray, or gel form and should be used as directed.

If there is a more serious medical issue involved in your case of dry mouth, that can be dealt with directly, either by your dentist or by a doctor. Treatments with regard these matters can vary, ranging from medication and non-invasive therapies to surgical procedures.

Learn More About Dry Mouth

For more information about dry mouth and the potential dangers it can pose regarding your dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We look forward tot your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

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