Is dry mouth a serious threat for dental wellness?

Is DRY MOUTH a serious threat for DENTAL WELLNESS?

Saliva is so important for our mouth. It moistens and washes out the smallest food particles in our
teeth and gums. In a way, it also helps in swallowing food. Saliva contains minerals like calcium and
phosphate which give strength to the teeth and help in fighting tooth decay.

If one is suffering from the dry mouth also known as xerostomia it clearly means that one is not having
enough saliva in the mouth. It can lead to tooth decay or fungal infections because saliva helps keep
harmful germs in check. The problem also sometimes starts as one is ageing. Finding the right cause
can help tackle the problem. One should in all cases take a medical opinion.

Causes of dry mouth

  • Side effects of medicines – If one is on a long time medication for blood pressure,
    hypertension or bladder control can lead to the problem of dry mouth.
  • Radiation exposure – During treatment of cancer if the salivary glands are exposed to
    the radiation they may sometimes be damaged.
  • Chemotherapy – Drugs used in cancer treatment can lead to thicker saliva which can cause
    dry mouth.
  • Nerve damage – Sometimes injuries to head or neck can cause Nerve damage which passes on
    message to the salivary gland to produce saliva.

Diagnosis is the foundation for further treatment

It is not that you go to a doctor and he starts giving you treatment. He will suggest blood or saliva
test which will determine how much saliva is produced inside your mouth.

Consult a medical specialist and go by his advice

Your doctor after determination of the problem through tests will start his treatment according to
his findings. If he comes to the conclusion that dry mouth in your case is because of the use of
certain medicines he will suggest you a substitute or might recommend changes in the dosage. He
may also prescribe a saliva substitute.

Self-care tips like drinking plenty of water will also help. Of course, drinking plenty of water is also
helpful for the body as a whole. Chewing sugarless gum is another alternative. One should avoid
alcohol and smoking. Good oral care at home and regular medical check-ups is also a must.
Other tips are as under:-

  • Avoid caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea which lead to drying up the mouth.
  • Spicy and salty foods might cause pain in dry mouth.
  • Use of a humidifier during night.
  • Try to have sugarless drinks apart from drinking a lot of water.

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