Occasional dry mouth is a common problem that is often related to dehydration, salty food or stress. Your saliva helps keep your mouth comfortable and lubricates food so that it is easier to swallow. It also bathes your teeth to rinse away plaque and debris, which means that it plays an important role when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. Chronic dry mouth, or dry mouth that occurs all the time, is not only uncomfortable but can also threaten your dental health.
When your mouth is dry and lacks saliva, your teeth may not remineralize appropriately. That can leave you more vulnerable to tooth decay. More bacteria may be present, which means that your gums may become irritated and inflamed, an early stage of gum disease. Smoking, certain medications, and some health problems can all lead to dry mouth.
Identifying the underlying cause of your dry mouth can help us identify the most appropriate course of treatment. In some cases, you may simply need to get underlying conditions under control or change medications. You can alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth by drinking water, unsweetened tea or sugar-free beverages throughout your day. You may also try sucking on sugar-free candies or chewing sugar-free gums, which stimulates saliva production in the body. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, which can be drying. If you still need relief, our Thousand Oaks dentist may prescribe a saliva replacement product. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.