How Chronic Dry Mouth Affects Your Teeth
Occasional dry mouth can affect anyone, but when it becomes chronic, it also becomes a serious problem for your smile. An estimated 44 million Americans have chronic dry mouth, which is often associated with medications or systemic health problems. Here is what you need to know about it and how you can solve it.
Saliva has several important functions. It keeps your mouth lubricated and comfortable, and it kick starts the digestive process. Saliva also helps neutralize plaque, and it contains an important viscous material that suspends oral bacteria so that it is less likely to cause decay.
When saliva flow decreases, bacteria can do more damage to your teeth, which are then more likely to decay and develop cavities. This is especially likely if you, like many Americans, have a diet high in simple carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods and soft drinks. The toxins released by bacteria can lead to gum disease, which can have serious repercussions for your smile, including lost teeth, permanently damaged gum tissue and destroyed bone tissue.
You can combat dry mouth. Eating a healthy diet rich in fibrous veggies is one option. Fiber-rich, crunchy, juicy fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, celery and carrots mechanically clean your teeth and trigger saliva flow naturally to help keep your teeth healthy. Chewing sugar-free gum can also keep your saliva flowing and your mouth healthy.
Call our office today to learn more about good dental care habits or to schedule your next dental appointment with our team.
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