Dry Mouth Is More Than Just Being Thirsty
The idea of suffering from “dry mouth” seems like it would be a minor nuisance, but this is really not the case. It can negatively effect your enjoyment of food, the smell of your breath, and even lead to damage to your teeth.
Dry Mouth And Your Teeth
Dry mouth is a reduced saliva flow that is common among older adults. It is usually the result of medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, and diuretics. Other prescriptions medications can have a similar affect as well.
A reduced saliva flow is a problem because saliva is part of the way our body works to prevent tooth decay. Saliva limits the growth of bacteria and helps to wash away food particles. Without it, extensive decay can occur.
Saliva also makes our food taste better and aids in swallowing and digestion; enzymes found in saliva help digest food. Saliva is extremely important, and dry mouth means there just isn’t enough present for our body to work with.
Treatment Of Dry Mouth
Your dentist will need to help you determine the cause of your dry mouth in order to better prescribe a solution. If it is the result of medication, it may be necessary for your dosage to be adjusted, or a different prescription be used.
Your dentist might also recommend other treatment options to restore the moisture in your mouth. He or she may suggest an artificial saliva or an oral rinse to help combat the problem. Sugar-free candy or gum can also be used to help promote saliva flow.