Dry Mouth Can Lead to Serious Dental Damage
By Byron J Nordhus D.D.S. on October 18, 2016
So many people in and around Wichita put their trust in our practice for their dental care needs. One of the reasons for this is our commitment to effective and advanced restorative dentistry treatments, with a focus on prevention as well as improving overall dental health.
Our approach to dental care means never taking a potential problem for granted. When it comes to dry mouth, for instance, we want to give the condition its due since it could be the sign of a far more serious dental health and general wellness issue.
What is Dry Mouth?
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth refers to a lack of saliva and general moisture in a person's mouth. This may be a temporary condition or it may be a chronic condition. Most people will have experienced some form of dry mouth at one time or another.
Common Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth may be brought about by many things. Including excessive stress, dehydration, the use of certain medications or drugs, or blockage of the salivary glands. In addition, saliva production tends to go down as people get older, which means dry mouth is often a common part of the aging process.
Minor Inconveniences Linked to Dry Mouth
When dry mouth occurs, it can lead to major problems and comparatively minor ones. With regard to the minor ones, dry mouth can make it difficult to eat certain foods because of a lack of saliva. It can also make speaking very difficult. In both of these cases, a glass of water may be helpful to address temporary issues related to a lack of saliva.
The Dangers of Dry Mouth
When dry mouth is persistent and chronic, it can result in a host of health and wellness problems.
Lack of Saliva Means No Tooth Remineralization – Saliva is essential for helping remineralize the teeth. This helps keep the tooth enamel strong and tough. When there is no saliva present, your tooth enamel may become weaker.
Problems with Tooth Decay and Dental Erosion – With weakened tooth enamel comes greater risk of tooth decay and acidic dental erosion. Dental erosion means that the enamel is eaten away by the acidity in your mouth.
Dry Mouth Exacerbates Gum Disease – Tooth decay and acidic erosion aren't the only issues accelerated by dry mouth. Gum disease can also progress at a faster rate than normal.
Potential Warning Sign of Oral Cancer – One of the biggest dangers of dry mouth is that it may signal a more serious health problem. Early signs of oral cancer, for instance, tend to include pain as well as dry mouth.
Treatment Options for Dry Mouth
When it comes to treating dry mouth, the best option for treatment tends to be directly treating the cause. For temporary relief of dry mouth, though, dentists may recommend artificial saliva products that help promote and increase the amount of moisture in the mouth.
Treatment Options for Damage Caused by Dry Mouth
There are many restorative dentistry procedures available that can deal with the damage wrought by dry mouth. These procedures target the teeth, the gums, and so forth, restoring dental health and, when possible, improving smile aesthetics as well.
For medical problems linked to dry mouth, the best option tends to be proper medical attention. Should you notice dry mouth accompanied by fatigue, oral pain, or other potential symptoms, be sure to speak with a doctor or dentist about these matters as soon as possible.
Contact Nordhus Dentistry
For more information about treating dry mouth and helping you smile with absolute confidence, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at Nordhus Dentistry will work with you to ensure that you receive the dental treatment you need in a timely fashion.
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“Dr. Nordhus and the whole team are simply amazing. Humble, professional, and always a delight to work with. Highly recommend.” Derek W.