The Oral Health Dangers of Dry Mouth
Ever get a dry, sticky feeling in your mouth? For patients who experience this sensation occasionally, this probably isn’t a problem. However, if the mouth constantly lacks moisture, patients may be suffering from a condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, it can lead to a variety of oral health problems, most of which require restorative dentistry treatments to improve the strength, structure, and health of the teeth and gums. To help patients prevent oral health problems, we offer dry mouth treatment at Boston Prosthodontics.
Dry Mouth Dangers
Dry mouth is a medical condition in which a patient’s salivary glands fail to produce an adequate amount of saliva. This leaves patients with a mouth that always feels dry. Some signs of dry mouth include a constant feeling of thirst, difficulty swallowing, or a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth. In addition to these symptoms being unpleasant, the dangers of dry mouth extend beyond a patient’s comfort. Without sufficient saliva, a patient’s mouth is at risk for a number of oral health problems. Below are some of the most common dry mouth dangers:
- Tooth decay: One of the primary roles of saliva is to naturally clean a patient’s mouth by rinsing away food particles and bacteria. Patients with dry mouth will not have their natural line of defense against bacteria, so they are at an increased risk of tooth decay.
- Root canal infection: Root canal infection can develop when bacteria are able to work their way to the center of the tooth, where the nerves lie. This is possible when the outer layer of enamel has become compromised, either as a result of injury, erosion, or decay. Because patients with dry mouth are at an increased risk for tooth decay, they are also more likely to suffer from a root canal infection.
- Gum disease: Gum disease describes a condition in which bacteria, plaque, and tartar have built up beneath the gum line and caused the gums to become infected. Again, this is a condition that is more likely to occur when patients lack the moisture that is necessary to naturally cleanse the teeth and gums.
- Tooth loss: Any of the above conditions, if left untreated, could eventually result in tooth loss. Therefore, tooth loss is a real and unfortunate danger for patients suffering from dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Treatment
Because of the many dangers of dry mouth, patients who experience this condition need to be especially vigilant about their oral health and their oral hygiene routine, including professional dental care. Patients should discuss their dry mouth treatment options with our dentists. We may recommend artificial rinses, dry mouth sprays, or prescription toothpaste that contains extra fluoride.
Schedule an appointment
Dry mouth is a serious condition, but with proper precautions and professional dental care, patients can avoid dry mouth dangers. To learn more about dry mouth treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at Boston Prosthodontics. We look forward to hearing from you.