What is dry mouth, and will it cause problems with my teeth?

Posted on in Family

Dry mouth occasionally happens to everyone, especially if a person is nervous, upset or under stress. However, experiencing dry mouth regularly can be uncomfortable and lead to serious health problems.

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands in the mouth function improperly. Saliva is vital to oral health. It keeps the mouth wet, helps digest food, protects teeth from decay, and prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth. A lack of saliva can be caused by many things, such as diabetes or Parkinson’s, radiation or chemotherapy, or medication.

If you suffer from dry mouth, take extra care to protect your teeth. Avoid sticky, sugary foods; stay hydrated and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks; limit use of tobacco and alcohol; and brush at least twice and floss once daily. Ask your dentist about high-fluoride toothpaste with up to 5,000 PPM of fluoride, which may help combat dry mouth. Most importantly, remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year to help keep your teeth healthy.

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