Over 10% of the population suffers from chronic dry mouth. Sometimes a person doesn’t even notice their mouth has developed dryness. Patients may come in for their routine appointment, and are told they have developed cavities or bleeding gums. This could be a result of dry mouth, or the technical term, xerostomia.
Dry mouth is commonly caused by prescription medications, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, diabetes and other diseases. The National Institute of Health states that our saliva:
- Protects teeth from decay.
- Helps digest food.
- Prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.
- Aids in the process of chewing and swallowing.
Our saliva is very important and does more than just moisten your mouth! Our dental team is trained to diagnose the health of your mouth, including your saliva. There are many things that we can recommend to help alleviate your dry mouth. Fluoride is a very important supplement for a patient experiencing dry mouth to help prevent cavities. We highly recommend these patients to receive a fluoride varnish during their re care visits. Prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste is also a standard recommendation. We also encourage our patients to try over-the-counter salivary supplements and to stay hydrated throughout the day.
If you feel as though you are developing dry mouth, please mention it to your dental provider at your next hygiene appointment. We look forward to seeing you then!