Resulting from an inadequate flow of saliva, dry mouth is a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications.
According to the American Dental Association, saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva is responsible for washing away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. It offers first-line protection against bacteria that could lead to disease. If there is not enough saliva, harmful germs can grow in the mouth
Common problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. It can also lead to cracked lips, dry and rough tongue, bad breath and even tooth decay.
The ADA advises while drinking more fluids can sometimes ease dry mouth, your dentist may suggest you use a special gel or liquid to keep your mouth moist. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy, sucking on ice chips, keeping the air moist with a humidifier, using alcohol-free mouthwash and even avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and carbonated drinks.
The ADA reports that dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjogren’s syndrome, which is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs. It is best to consult your dentist or physician if this is a concern.
Batavia Dentist Ronald Murphy advises that mouth care starts at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your mouth on a continual basis.
Murphy Dentistry | 1605 W. Wilson St #114, Batavia, IL 60510 | 630.879.7642 | murphydentistry.com