Dry mouth is a serious condition affecting millions of Americans, and it can have a disastrous effect on your oral health. If your Premier dentist identifies your mouth as dry, he or she will work closely with you to manage this dangerous situation.
The most prevalent cause of persistent severe dry mouth is prescription medications. Many commonly prescribed drugs for blood pressure, diabetes and depression cause dry mouth as a side effect. The risk for dry mouth increases with each prescription you take, and many of our patients are currently taking more than one of these medications.
A mouth is dry due to a lack of saliva. Saliva is essential in the cavity fighting process. Not only does it contain antibacterial enzymes, it also helps neutralize the pH of the mouth when cavity-causing bacteria produce the acids that break down enamel. When you have a dry mouth, your dental plaque is more difficult to remove from the teeth, even when you practice great oral hygiene at home. The plaque adherence to your teeth plus the acidic environment equals a perfect storm for cavities.
As we mentioned in the previous section, dental plaque is stickier in a dry mouth. The saliva is not there to help flush out bacteria between meals, and the risk for inflammation is high. If you have a dry mouth, you are very likely to develop gum disease. Our patients with dry mouth specifically notice bleeding gums, tender mouth sores, and often a losing battle against worsening periodontal disease.
Saliva also functions as an important lubricant inside the mouth. It allows all of the moving tissues (the tongue, lips, and cheeks) to glide along the teeth without sticking or being bitten. If you have a dry mouth, you may notice that you are more prone to cheek or tongue biting. A dry mouth can make it difficult for you to speak for any length of time. Many of our patients suffering from dry mouth also require water to help them swallow food.
At Premier Dental of Ohio, our wonderful dentists aim to help you achieve a perfectly healthy mouth! When our patients suffer from dry mouth and all of the increased risks it entails, we provide solutions in the form of preventive dental treatments and customized oral care products. We can help you win the battle against dry mouth.
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