Dry Mouth Causes Problems for Your Oral Health
Welcome back, Clearwater! In our last blog we wrote about the importance of choosing the right toothbrush. If you choose a toothbrush that is too big, too little, or with bristles that are too soft or too hard, you will not be getting your teeth as clean as they can be. Even worse, you could be causing damage to your teeth.
Here at Clearwater Dental Associates, we use these blog entries as a way to keep you informed on issues important to your oral health. One of those issues is preventative care. It is better to stay healthy and to stop dental ailments from happening than it is to deal with them later. Even with all the advances in modern dentistry and technology, there is nothing better than a smile filled with healthy, natural teeth.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is about more than just brushing and flossing twice a day. You have to be able to recognize the warnings signs of potential health problems, so that you can act accordingly to prevent the oral health ailments from happening. Dry mouth is one of those warning signs. If you are experiencing persistent and frequent dry mouth, then your teeth and gums could be at risk.
The Dangers Created by Dry Mouth
Saliva is the key to healthy mouth. That’s right, that liquid in your mouth that is considered to be so unpleasant and unattractive is your body’s greatest defender from tooth decay and gum disease. The moisture in your mouth helps to keep plaque from forming on your teeth. Plaque is filled with bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease, and if it is left to collect on your teeth it will cause great damage to your oral health.
Saliva also acts as an antibacterial. It actually attacks the harmful bacteria in your mouth and stops it from producing the acid that will eat away at your teeth. Without saliva, your teeth and gums would be at the mercy of the bacteria, and your mouth would eventually become riddled with tooth decay and infection.
Obviously, this is not just an oral health issue, but a concern for your total well being. The health of your teeth dictate what type of foods you are able to eat, and strong teeth are required for eating healthy foods. And once infection sets in your teeth, it can spread throughout your body.
The Causes of Dry Mouth
Dehydration – Usually dry mouth just means you aren’t taking in enough water. Whether you are exercising, sitting in the park, or just running errands in your car, you need to be drinking water. Dehydration from lack of water is not just the most common cause of dry mouth, it is also the easiest to remedy. Simplicity aside, dry mouth from dehydration will cause a lot of problems for your oral health if you do not take steps to treat it.
Medication/Illness – Getting sick and taking medicine can also cause problems for your oral health. Read the side effects to any medication and there is a good chance you’ll see dry mouth listed among them. This usually means you just need to up your water intake when you are not feeling well, but it you should check with your doctor if dehydration persist.
Food – What you eat can dry you out, as well. The biggest culprit on this front is cured meats and anything that is heavily salted. Coffee and alcohol are notorious for causing dehydration, too. So make sure you balance out your consumption of these drinks with, you guessed it, more water.
Water, Water, and More Water
Whatever the cause of your dehydration, water is the cure. Carry a refillable bottle of water with you everywhere you go, so you never have to worry about going thirsty. Sugarless hard candy and chewing gum can be helpful in producing saliva, so they can be helpful after a meal when a little extra saliva could help protect your teeth and gums.
Let Clearwater Associates Help
Regular visits to our office in Clearwater, FL will allow us to keep an eye on your oral health and head off any dental problems before they become serious ones. Something as simple as dry mouth can be easily remedied, but it can cause tooth decay and gum disease if you don’t do something about it.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning and examination.