Closeup of a woman in a white shirt rinsing with water to ease her dry mouth

The Effects of Dry Mouth

March 31, 2023 8:25 am
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Saliva is the body’s natural defense against cavities. It rinses food debris from your teeth, neutralizes acids, and protects your gums! If there’s not enough saliva in your mouth, you can end up with something called “dry mouth.”

What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth happens when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It often happens when you’re dehydrated or stressed, but persistent dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications and health conditions (like diabetes and other autoimmune diseases), tobacco use, and frequent alcohol consumption.

What are the effects of dry mouth?

Dry mouth is more than just an uncomfortable feeling. Without enough saliva, food particles and bacteria build up in your mouth. This makes you more vulnerable to enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and gum disease. Bacteria buildup can also increase your risk for mouth sores and thrush, which is a yeast infection.

How Do I Know I Have Dry Mouth?

Watch out for unpleasant symptoms like cracked lips, bad breath, a sore throat, trouble tasting food, and thick spit. Dry mouth also makes it harder to wear dentures.

What can you do about dry mouth?

There are several ways to address dry mouth. You could try drinking more water, rinsing with a mouthwash specially formulated to combat mouth dryness, or frequently chewing sugarless gum, which stimulates saliva production. If you smoke or drink alcohol, we recommend cutting back or quitting since these both dry out your mouth. If you’re taking any medication, ask your primary care provider if “dry mouth” is a side effect and if there’s an alternative option.

Bolt Family Dental Can Help Protect Your Smile!

Dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum disease, but good hygiene at home and regular cleanings at the dentist can help keep your smile healthy. Our office offers comprehensive oral healthcare, including preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry, in Brownsburg, IN. If you are struggling with dry mouth, please contact us to schedule an appointment at Bolt Family Dental!