A dry mouth deserves attention!
Saliva is something not thought about until there is a lack of it. We don't think about how it bathes and lubricates the mouth, helps our speech, aids in digestion and swallowing, and prevents tooth decay.
The warning signs may be bad breath and a "sticky" mouth, frequent thirst or a dry feeling in the throat. More advanced signs may be tooth decay and gum disease, even with excellent home care.
Saliva helps limit bacterial growth and wash away food particles in the mouth; it also neutralizes the pH in the mouth. Without adequate saliva, the ability to taste and digest food properly is reduced. Further, digestion is supported by the enzymes in saliva, so a shortage can eventually inhibit your body from getting adequate nutrition.
The possible causes of dry mouth are numerous. Probably the most common reason we see dryness is due to medications being taken (including over-the-counter ones). Mouthwashes that contain alcohol will kill the bacteria in the mouth, but they also reduce the flow of saliva and oxygen in the mouth, increasing dryness. Other potential causes are diabetes, HIV, autoimmune disorders, radiation treatments, arthritis, changes in hormone levels during menopause and many more.
Drinking more water is a good first step, but we urge you to give us a call or alert your dentist if you are detecting dry mouth. Products such as Biotene and Carifree spray/gel are wonderful.
It's important to find the cause, provide relief and prevent oral problems!
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035