Dry Mouth: causes and solutions A very delicate balance exists in your mouth between health and disease. Your saliva is very important in maintaining this balance and protecting your mouth from disease.
If your saliva fails to protect because of poor flow or reduced quality then disease can quickly develop. It may result in sensitivity, tooth wear, decay, increase in rate of gum disease and increased infections in the mouth.
What signs are there that you saliva is not protecting your teeth?
Dry feeling in your mouth, difficulty in eating and swallowing, change in taste sensation, bad breath and sometimes stinging or burning sensations.
It is often obvious to your dentist or hygienist that there are signs of poor saliva quality or low saliva flow rate and this can be checked as part of your normal check-up appointment.
Some more common causes of dry mouth can be:
consumption of alcohol
caffeine and nicotine
lack of water consumption
some medical illnesses such as Sjrogens syndrome
700 medications cause dry mouth,a common cause is anti-depressants
occupations that involve a lot of speaking
damage to salivary glands
Often just knowing about these things allows patients some control in increasing their saliva. For instance:
Constant water intake during the day i.5 litres everyday is advisable, more if you are exercising--this can be harder than it sounds.
Reduce alcohol, nicotine, caffiene intake
Modifications(with the advice of medical practicioner) of medications.
However where saliva is still not providing adequate protection there are additional products available. If your mouth is uncomfortable because it feels dry then saliva replacement products such as Biotene oral balance gel, mouthwash and toothpaste can be helpful. They work by lubricating your mouth, & replacing some of the salivary constituents such as enzymes to protect against bacteria.
If you are suffering from sensitivity or high decay rates as a result of low saliva, then protective products such as Neutrafluor 5000, Neutrafluor 200 or 900, GC tooth mousse, and recaldent gum are also highly effective. They work by acting on your teeth to remineralise/harden/desensitise tooth structure.
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