Saliva is essential for our oral health and even more important for our overall comfort. All of us have at one time or another had a dry mouth. If you are getting a dry mouth, what does it mean? What should you do if you can’t get it to go away?
Saliva’s Critical Role
Your mouth constantly produces saliva–generally between two and four pints of saliva a day! Saliva helps to digest and allows us to taste and process food. It acts as a cleaning agent, washing away food debris. Saliva also strengthens our teeth against cavities because of the calcium and phosphate ions that are absorbed into the teeth from the saliva.
Causes of Dry Mouth are Many
When salivary glands are not working properly, in an inadequate flow of saliva reaches the mouth. This can cause thirst, hoarseness, and a dry sticky mouth, which is most uncomfortable. Because saliva acts as a lubricant and a solvent, difficulty speaking, swallowing and tasting are also side effects. Bad breath is often a consequence of dry mouth.
Sometimes a dry mouth is caused by nervousness or stress. More serious and persistent cases of dry mouth, however, are the result of a number of other things, such as:
- Medications like antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, etc.
- Elective Lifestyle such as tobacco use
- Diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
- Cancer treatments can damage salivary glands due to radiation or chemotherapy.
- Dehydration caused by fever, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, blood loss and burns.
Let Us Know and We Can Help
Having plenty of saliva is important, not just for your comfort. but because dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and infection. Do not delay in letting us know if you have dry mouth so that we can help find the best way to treat it as soon as possible!
For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.