Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth. A dry mouth is a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a disease in itself. Causes may include drugs or medication, dehydration, mouth breathing, Sjogren's syndrome, infection, nerve problems and some cancer treatments. Strawberries and chewing gum used for dry mouth A dry mouth significantly increases the risk of tooth decay. This is because saliva:

  • Contains components that can directly attack the bacteria that cause tooth decay
  • Has anti-fungal properties
  • Helps to destroy viruses
  • Neutralises the acids produced by plaque
  • Contains phosphorus and calcium. These substances are vital to the ongoing process of remineralisation, which is the rebuilding of tooth enamel (the hard surface layer that protects the tooth)
  • Moistens food, which enables comfortable swallowing
  • Helps with the formation of particular sounds in speech
  • Boosts sensation such as pain, food texture and taste inside the mouth

What You Can Do to Prevent Dry Mouth

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily.
  • Regularly use fluoride-containing products.
  • Treat dry lips with Vaseline.
  • Take out partial or full dentures while you sleep.
  • Eat chewy foods to stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Include watery foods in your daily diet.
  • Avoid acidic foods and beverages such as soft drinks, citrus fruits and citrus fruit juices to protect your tooth enamel.
  • Restrict sugary foods and drinks.
  • Avoid any substance that increase mouth dryness. These include cigarettes, alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy foods.
  • Chew sugar-free gum between meals to promote the flow of saliva.
  • Sip plain tap water often.

What North Road Dental Centre Can Do

  • Having regular dental cleans and check-ups ensure that any problems to your teeth caused by your dry mouth can be promptly attended to.
  • Advise you on a toothpaste, mouth-rinse or gel suitable for dry mouth syndrome.
  • Provide you with dietary advice.

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