Dry mouth is a common problem that can harm your teeth
If your saliva flow is reduced, this can cause dry mouth which often leads to increased tooth and gum problems.
Dry mouth known as xerostomia – is a common problem especially among older adults. Its caused by certain medical disorders and is often a side effect of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics.
The common problems associated with dry mouth include:
- Constant sore throat
- Burning sensation
- Problems speaking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarseness or dry nasal passages
When there is not enough saliva to lubricate your mouth, wash away food and neutralize the acids produced by plaque, there is a risk of extensive tooth decay.
If you are at risk from this condition, your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture.
For example, sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses.
As dry mouth is a potential side effect of many prescribed and over-the-counter medications it is a very common problem.
These medications can include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinsons disease medications, antidepressants and many others.
Fortunately there are many simple solutions available to reduce the risk to your oral health caused by dry mouth so talk to your dentist if you are on any kind of medication or you feel you may be at risk from this issue.
Why dry mouth can be a problem and what to do about it
Your saliva plays an important role in your oral health and reduced saliva flow can lead to health problems.
Reduced saliva flow can lead to a dry mouth and this is a common problem among older adults.
It can be caused by various medical disorders and is often a side effect of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics.
Dry mouth can be associated with various problems such as a constant sore throat, burning sensation, problems speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages.
Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become more common.
So, if dry mouth is not treated, it can damage your teeth.
Without adequate saliva to lubricate your mouth, wash away food, and neutralize the acids produced by plaque, extensive decay can occur.
Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses.