Effects of Chronic Dry Mouth on Your Oral Health

Effects of Chronic Dry Mouth on Your Oral Health

A dry mouth can be uncomfortable. In some cases, it can even be dangerous. Although few people discuss dry mouth, more than 40 million Americans are believed to suffer from chronic dry mouth. This condition can develop due to certain health problems or as a side effect of certain medications. If you experience chronic dry mouth, our dentist in Los Angeles may recommend treatments and a more frequent dental exam schedule to catch problems early.

Saliva is more than merely lubrication for a more comfortable mouth. It also neutralizes acid and rinses away bacteria. If your mouth is lacking in saliva, the conditions become ripe for bacterial growth. Plaque can easily develop into tartar, a mineralized substance that irritates gums. When gums become inflamed, they are more likely to become infected. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and is associated with systemic inflammation.

Chronic dry mouth is also linked to cavities. Oral bacteria produce an acidic waste product, and these acids can erode enamel. When the bacteriaís acids are combined with acidic foods such as soft drinks, sports drinks and juices, they can erode enamel even faster.

Good dental hygiene can combat some of these problems, but it may not be enough. Our dentist may recommend a dietary overhaul to ensure you are getting plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and cutting back on carbohydrate or acidic foods. Sugarless gums and candies can stimulate saliva flow, but we may also recommend that you try a prescription saliva replacement product for maximum protection.

If you have chronic dry mouth, we can help. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.