Dry Mouth and Cavities

Many people take saliva for granted, but it plays an important role in your oral health. When a patient has insufficient saliva, it can contribute to conditions like tooth decay and gum disease.

Saliva is so essential because it’s needed to clear away the oral bacteria that will otherwise collect along the gumline and attack the enamel, warranting dental treatment.

Symptoms of dry mouth can include a sticky film in the mouth, frequent thirst, a feeling of dryness in the throat, hoarseness, and bad breath, for starters.

If you have noticed that you have dry mouth, which is also known by the more technical term xerostomia, you should consult with a dentist for treatment that will remedy the problem. This step will help to protect your oral health in the long term.

Because any number of factors may cause dry mouth, the dentist will begin by thoroughly examining your mouth and taking a complete medical history from you.

This process can identify the causes of your dry mouth, which may include side effects from medications, medical treatments or certain diseases. Nerve damage and tobacco use can also lead to dry mouth.

Once the cause of your dry mouth has been diagnosed, the dentist will recommend treatment. If a certain medication is at fault, the dentist may suggest that you drink more water or use an artificial saliva to replace the naturally occurring substance. Sucking on hard candy or chewing gum (sugar-free for either, please!) can also help to stimulate saliva production.

Patients who have trouble with dry mouth also need to be extra conscientious about their oral hygiene routines to do everything possible to minimize the presence of oral bacteria. These patients also should be sure to visit their dentist at least every six months for professional cleanings and checkups.

Dry mouth increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems like gum disease or infections. If you’ve noticed signs of this problem, schedule an evaluation with one of our skilled dentists, serving Plano and surrounding areas, and learn about your treatment options.