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Home For Patients Dental Blog What Happens When Your Mouth Dries Out?

What Happens When Your Mouth Dries Out?

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Shiv Sharma, DDS
 dental professional making a heart shape with her hands that frames her healthy smile in the backgroundImagine a desert landscape, cracked earth stretching as far as the eye can see. Now, picture that same aridity inside your mouth, your tongue a parched traveler desperately searching for an oasis. This, my friends, is the reality of dry mouth, a condition that affects millions and can have far-reaching consequences for your oral health.

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva, the essential fluid that keeps your mouth moist and healthy. Saliva is like a superhero with a cape made of enzymes, fighting bacteria, neutralizing acids, and aiding digestion. Without this trusty sidekick, your mouth becomes a vulnerable battleground.

The Consequences of a Dry Mouth:

•  Increased Cavities: Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids that erode tooth enamel. With dry mouth, these enemies run rampant, leading to a higher risk of cavities.
•  Gum Disease: Saliva helps prevent gum inflammation and infection. Without it, your gums become more susceptible to gingivitis and periodontitis.
•  Oral Discomfort: Dry mouth can cause a burning sensation, difficulty swallowing, and even problems with speaking.
•  Bad Breath: Saliva naturally washes away odor-causing bacteria. With dry mouth, these bacteria linger, leading to unpleasant breath.

Preventing Dry Mouth:

The good news is that dry mouth is often preventable or manageable. Here are some tips to keep your mouth a lush oasis:

•  Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you're taking medications that can cause dry mouth.
•  Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Stimulate saliva production by chewing gum sweetened with xylitol, which also helps fight cavities.
•  Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: These substances can dehydrate you, worsening dry mouth symptoms.
•  Use a Humidifier: Add moisture to the air, especially during dry winter months.
•  See Your Dentist Regularly: Regular checkups can help identify and address the underlying causes of dry mouth.

Remember, dry mouth is not an inevitable fate. By taking proactive steps and working with your dentist, you can reclaim a comfortable and healthy oral environment.

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health. Give us a call at (650) 321-9693 .

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Palo Alto Oral Health, 2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1, Palo Alto, CA 94306 ~ (650) 321-9693 ~ paloaltooralhealth.com ~ 7/20/2024 ~ Related Terms: dentist palo alto ~