Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a common problem with huge potential consequences. It’s not just an annoyance. It can have a severe negative impact on your dental health. There are many causes for this condition, some of which may be entirely preventable.
Medications are the most common cause of dry mouth. The drugs which are most responsible for this side effect include antihistamines, muscle relaxers, incontinence drugs and prescription painkillers. If you’re experiencing an unmanageable degree of oral dryness, ask your doctor if changing medications might relieve the problem.
People who are born with an underdeveloped jaw and chin tend to breathe through their mouth. Naturally, this causes saliva to dry up faster than it can be produced. Unsurprisingly, mouth breathers also suffer from a much higher rate of dental complications than those who breathe normally. Buying a chin strap made for snorers can keep the mouth closed at night and help train the individual to breathe through their nose during the day.
People who have received trauma to the neck or mouth may have sustained nerve damage which prevents the salivary glands from secreting saliva. It is theoretically possible that surgery could be done to repair the affected nerves.
Effects of Dry Mouth
Without adequate saliva production, harmful bacteria have an opportunity to flourish. A lack of saliva can also cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. This allows germs and plaque to get closer to the roots where they can cause the most damage. If left untreated, you could suffer from chronic halitosis, gum disease or tooth loss.
Difficulty eating is another problem caused by dry mouth. It may even prevent the sufferer from being able to eat, in some cases. This could be especially damaging for the elderly or infirm. The last thing someone needs when their body isn’t working as well as it used to is a lack of food.
People of any age can suffer from dry mouth, but it may be particularly damaging to oral development in young children. If the teeth and gums aren’t adequately protected by saliva, there is an increased risk of dental abnormalities later in life.
If you or your children suffer from dry mouth, it is of the utmost importance to correct it. We can help you discover what is causing the problem and offer advise in treating this very serious condition. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. We are here for you. 1-866-478-7695