Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith
Dry mouth is a common finding among dental patients. It can be difficult for a patient to recognize that they have dry mouth because most of the time a patient’s mouth gets incrementally drier, slowly over time. What a patient might consider “normal” for them, can have a significant effect on their oral health.
Dry mouth can be caused by several different things. The most common reasons for dry mouth are dehydration, medications that reduce saliva flow, problems specifically with the salivary glands, and autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s Syndrome.
No matter the cause, if dry mouth is left untreated it causes a shift in the balance of the oral bacteria. Saliva acts as a natural protector for the teeth and gums. Without saliva, the bacteria of the mouth go on the offensive and start to attack the teeth and gums. Without the protective function of saliva, the teeth are highly vulnerable.
Cavities are the number one problem caused by dry mouth. When a patient experiences extended periods of dry mouth, it is not uncommon to find cavities. These cavities wreak havoc on a patient’s oral health. If dry mouth is identified early, protective factors and treatments can be put into place to help protect the teeth. If the dry mouth is severe or long standing, in some instances the teeth cannot be saved.
Here is the key: Catch dry mouth early and get protective factors into place. Protective factors include fluoride varnish, custom fluoride trays, high concentration fluoride toothpaste, more frequent dental cleanings, silver diamine fluoride, adequate hydration, salivary stimulants, and the CariFree system.
Do not wait for the bacteria of the mouth to start destroying your teeth. If you have dry mouth, seek treatment quickly; time is of the essence.
If you think you are suffering from dry mouth, contact 58 Dental today and speak with a member of the team to set up a consultation to determine the best course of action for you.