How Dry Mouth Affects Your Dental Health

How Dry Mouth Affects Your Dental HealthMost people will occasionally experience dry mouth. You might have spent a long day in the heat or had a hard workout. Most minor cases of dry mouth are easily remedied through rehydration, but for about 44 million Americans, dry mouth is a chronic problem that can lead to serious dental issues.

Saliva plays a role in the digestive process, but it also protects the teeth from the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. When your mouth because dry, these bacteria can quickly get out of control. Eating or drinking things that are high in sugar and acid can make matters worse. The sugar feeds the bacteria while the acid erodes the enamel on your teeth.

You have several options when it comes to combating dry mouth. Staying properly hydrated is a good first step. Drink plenty of water and other sugar-free beverages, but avoid acidic drinks such as soda and sports drinks. Green tea is another good choice. Green tea contains polyphenols, which has protective properties and can help neutralize oral bacteria.

Stimulating saliva flow is another way you can fight dry mouth. Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to keep the saliva flowing. Some fibrous, juicy fruits and veggies can also help stimulate saliva flow. Pears, apples, carrots and celery are all good choices.

When you brush your teeth, choose dental care products that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate delicate oral tissues, and use alcohol-free mouthwash. Call our office today to find out more about fighting dry mouth or to schedule your appointment with our team.

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