Harmful Effects of Dry Mouth

An estimated 44 million Americans suffer from chronic dry mouth, which can be an extremely uncomfortable condition. Dry mouth can be a hazardous condition to your mouth.

When saliva is absent or greatly diminished, a host of events can occur. The intake of food is greatly diminished, comfort and function become difficult, sense of taste can be lost, as well as rapid increase in decay, failed restorations, or painful and sore gums and oral fungus due to denture wearing. All of these can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life and health of the patient. The treatment of dry mouth is typically palliative in nature, just treating the symptoms. Drinking water frequently and products such as Biotene can sometimes provide relief, but is generally limited at best.

Dry mouth can be associated with certain medical conditions, medications and other factors, infections such as diabetes, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer patients can also cause damage to salivary glands. If you have dry mouth, you may benefit from increased control over your health or switching medications. However, taking steps immediately to stimulate saliva flow can help reduce your risk of dry mouth complications.

Avoid acidic foods and beverages, increase your fluid intake and chew sugarless gums or candies. Fibrous foods such as apples or celery can also be helpful as they stimulate saliva and mechanically clean teeth. An alcohol-free mouth rinse may be able to cut bacteria without increasing dryness. In serious cases, a saliva-replacement product may be necessary.

If you have dry mouth, contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

We will work with you to determine the cause of your discomfort and provide you with a treatment plan to preserve your dental health and increase your comfort.

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