Effects of Chronic Dry Mouth
An occasional dry mouth can be an irritation but is rarely a sign of more serious problems. However, chronic dry mouth can increase your risk of suffering other dental health problems. If you are suffering from chronic dry mouth, our dentist in Northridge will recommend an evaluation to identify the extent of the problem and the best solution to restore proper hydration.
Saliva plays an important role in your oral health. It rinses away the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and irritate gums, and it neutralizes harmful acids. When your mouth is dry, these bacteria are more easily able to get a foothold in your mouth. This dramatically increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, both of which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease can lead to systemic inflammation and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you have dry mouth, your first step should be cutting out foods and drinks that are high in acids and sugar. Limit soft drinks and fruit juices, and eliminate foods such as candy and sports or energy drinks. Substitute green tea, which contains protective polyphenols, for regular sweetened tea, which can lead to further damage. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva flow, and look for crunchy, fibrous fruits and vegetables, which manually clean teeth and stimulate gum tissue. In some cases, a prescription saliva replacement product may be necessary.
Give us a call today to learn more how to reduce your risk of dry mouth-associated complications and improve your dental health.