Your mouth naturally produces saliva. This helps to soften food as you chew, making it easier to break it into small chunks and swallow. That’s why you produce extra saliva when you are eating.
But, saliva is also useful the rest of the time. It helps to neutralize acids in your mouth. These acids are produced when sugar mixes with bacteria in your mouth. The acid will then attack the enamel on your teeth and, if left, can damage the enamel ultimately leading to cavities and tooth decay.
Saliva plays an important role in reducing this damage. Of course, you can’t rely on saliva to look after your teeth, you also need to brush them daily, floss, and see a reputable Alexandria dentist to have any issues found early and dealt with.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Most people experience dry mouth at least once. It happens when a particular food or drink appears to suck all the moisture from your mouth. It can also happen when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose as the air removes moisture from your mouth, such as when you’re sleeping.
The effects of this are temporary, once you breathe normally again or wake up your saliva production continues as normal and your mouth is moist again. It’s simply a mild inconvenience.
But, for some people, it is a constant companion and this can cause a variety of issues, including reduced social capacity which often results in less confidence and social anxiety.
It’s worth noting:
- Dry mouth is usually worse at night
- Lower amounts of saliva will affect the taste of foods
- Reduced saliva in your mouth can cause bad breath
- It can be harder to speak clearly
- Dryness in your mouth increases the risk of sores, tooth decay, and gum disease
- Women are more likely to suffer from the dry mouth than men
It is possible that your dry mouth is caused by a medical condition or even by the medication your doctor has put you on. For others, it is simply a side-effect of aging.
Unfortunately, not enough is known about what triggers dry mouth to prevent the issue from occurring.
Dealing With Dry Mouth
If you suffer from a dry mouth you’ll need to find other ways to ensure your mouth remains moist. It is also essential that you visit your dentist frequently as you will have an increased risk of tooth decay.
To help deal with the issue use fluoride toothpaste, this will help to protect the enamel on your teeth. It’s also a good idea to chew sugar-free gum regularly, especially after eating. This encourages your mouth to create saliva.
You can also purchase sprays and gels that will help your mouth to retain moisture and it can be beneficial to sip water throughout the day.
You’ll need to keep your eyes open for the special products in-store that are designed to deal with dry mouth. It’s also essential to listen to the advice of your dentist and follow it.