With oral health, there is a line between when a concern is a nuisance and it is a serious medical issue. Dry mouth is one of those where it is easy for a patient to believe it is an annoyance, when it may possibly be causing long-term damage to the mouth.
Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist speaks to you about some common causes of dry mouth and also some tips to use at home!
Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different medical issues, and identifying the cause may very well help find a solution.
Many prescriptions can cause dry mouth, so if this is occurring, be sure to let both your doctor and your dentist know. This way if a change is necessary, both are informed of the alterations.
Certain illnesses and conditions can also affect the amount of saliva our bodies produce. For people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain an appropriate level of saliva. We understand the frustration and want to help you find that balance.
If you use tobacco or alcohol, those may be contributing factors to your condition. As oral health professionals, we have to advise you to avoid these products whenever possible, as they can lead to many different issues within the mouth.
A mouth that is not producing enough saliva becomes significantly more at risk of damage and infection. Saliva itself is highly antimicrobial and antibacterial fluid, full of enzymes designed to protect the mouth. By removing this level of protection alone, the mouth is in immediate danger.
Beyond that, bacterial and fungal growth are allowed in a more unimpeded manner when there is less saliva. The fluid will manually wash away bacteria, as well as lingering food particles within the mouth. Tooth decay is much more likely to occur in a dry mouth than a healthy one.
With this, periodontal disease, or gum disease, is much more prevalent. Gum recession is likely, which leaves more of the tooth exposed, often allowing the root to show. When this occurs, the root often becomes infected. If this happens, a root canal is most likely necessary.
A dentist will perform what is called a pulpectomy, where the fleshy interior of the tooth is removed. This effectively renders the tooth dead, leaving only the hard structure. A crown is often placed over the top for support.
Dry Mouth? Call Today!
If you want to know how we can help ease your discomfort, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!