We have all been thirsty at some point in our lives – thirty to the point where our mouths feel dry and bitter. Thankfully, that thirst typically goes away by drinking water. However, some people suffer from what is known as “dry mouth” (medically identified as Xerostomia), which can have serious negative side effects on the teeth and mouth. Professional treatment is needed for persistent dry mouth in order to prevent the premature loss of teeth and infection to the teeth, gums, and/or mouth.
Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth tissue due to exposure to acid. While consuming acid foods and drinks can be limited, our bodies also create natural acids that cannot be avoided. Dry mouth can cause these acids to become even more dangerous to the mouth. Saliva is an important component of our mouths and our health. Saliva buffers acids within the mouth in order to reduce their affects on the teeth. For people who suffer from dry mouth, they are not producing enough saliva to dilute and wash away damaging acids from the teeth, causing erosion of the teeth to occur rather quickly.
Certain medications are often a big component to dry mouth, because they have side effects that limit the production of saliva. It is always important to talk with your dentist about all of the medications that you are taking in order to determine if they could, or already are, contributing to the decline of your oral health. Many times it is possible to simply switch medications that do not cause dry mouth as a side effect, or treatments such as a fluoride rinse and special toothpastes can be prescribed to combat the diminished levels of saliva in the mouth.
At Group Health Dental, we provide comprehensive dental treatments for patients of all ages. If you suffer from dry mouth consistently, please speak with us. We want to help promote the health of your entire mouth to keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible. Contact our dental practice today.