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Is Clinical Dry Mouth Impacting Your Dental Health?

Do you feel like your mouth is always dry, and it seems to say that way no matter how much water your drink? You may be experiencing xerostomia, a condition that derives from your mouth being dry from an insufficient amount of saliva being produced by your glands. Most often the result of medications or radiation treatments for cancer, dry mouth can also be caused by another condition that has an impact directly on your salivary glands.

Why Is Saliva Important?

While we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the saliva in our mouths, it actually plays a vital role in digestion and oral hygiene. Saliva is one of the bodies natural defense mechanisms against bacteria, preventing its proliferation and helping to clean away food particles so it the bacteria has nothing to feed on. As part of digestion, it helps to break down food, moistening it so its easier to swallow and chew. Once you swallow your food, the enzymes in saliva play an active role in the digestion of food. Depending on how severe your case of dry mouth is you may find it merely irritating, or it may seriously impair your ability to enjoy food and impact your dental health.

What Symptoms Indicate That It’s Dry Mouth?

It may seem a silly question, given that the answer should be “my mouth is perpetually dry!”, but other indicators may reveal a case of dry mouth or confirm that it isn’t just a need for more hydration.

• Does your mouth feel sticky or dry?
• Is your saliva thicker than usual or stringy?
• Do you suffer from halitosis (bad breath)?
• Do you find yourself having trouble speaking, chewing, and swallowing?
• Is your throat perpetually dry, sore, and your voice hoarse?
• Has your tongue been dry, or does it have a grooved texture?
• Have things been tasting different to you?
• Are you experiencing new problems with wearing your dentures?

If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, there’s a decent chance that you’re experiencing a case of xerostomia, or dry mouth. You may also notice that your lipstick tends to stick to your teeth more often if you’re suffering from this condition since the teeth themselves will be dry.

How Does Dry Mouth Affect My Dental Health?
One of the significant factors seen in those who suffer from dry mouth, whether from a medical condition such as this or due to lifestyle choices that include an active exercise regime, is declining dental hygiene. Even those who with meticulous dental care habits can see issues with this as saliva plays a vital role in protecting their teeth.

If you suspect that you’re experiencing conditions similar to dry mouth, or xerostomia, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your dental care provider. If you live in the Palo Alto, California area you can make a call to Heritage Park Dental to make an appointment. Dr. Shadi Heidarian and their incredible staff have been helping clients in their area battle oral health-related conditions and retain their beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Call today!