Our mouths are constantly in a state of flux. We are either eating or we’re between meals, and even then, we are constantly using our mouths and ingesting things. Because of that, it can sometimes become hard to differentiate between what is normal and what needs to be discussed with your dentist.
And dry mouth is no exception. To be honest, we do not have much frame of reference on our own, without the help of others. We only have our mouths, and visual comparisons are not often helpful.
So today, your Kansas City, MO dentist writes to you about the warning signs of dry mouth, its common causes, and how you should best handle it in the future!
What Can Cause This?
People may wonder what causes their dry mouth, as many things can be harmful in this regard. Many prescriptions can lead to a dry mouth, so if this is occurring, be sure to let both your doctor and your dentist know. This way if a change is necessary, both are informed of the alterations.
If you use tobacco or alcohol, those may be contributing factors to your condition. As oral health professionals, we have to advise you to avoid these products whenever possible, as they can lead to many different issues within the mouth.
Certain illnesses and conditions can also affect the amount of saliva our bodies produce. For people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain an appropriate level of saliva. We understand the frustration and want to help you find that balance.
What’s The Harm?
A mouth that is not producing enough saliva becomes significantly more at risk of damage and infection. Saliva itself is highly antimicrobial and antibacterial fluid, full of enzymes designed to protect the mouth. By removing this level of protection alone, the mouth is in immediate danger.
Beyond that, bacterial and fungal growth are allowed in a more unimpeded manner when there is less saliva. The fluid will manually wash away bacteria, as well as lingering food particles within the mouth. Tooth decay is much more likely to occur in a dry mouth than a healthy one.
With this, periodontal disease, or gum disease, is much more prevalent. Gum recession is likely, which leaves more of the tooth exposed, often allowing the root to show. When this occurs, the root often becomes infected. If this happens, a root canal is most likely necessary.
A dentist will perform what is called a pulpectomy, where the fleshy interior of the tooth is removed. This effectively renders the tooth dead, leaving only the hard structure. A crown is often placed over the top for support.
Is Your Mouth Bothering You?
If you have any further questions, or to schedule an appointment, please give Dr. Lucaci at Cosmetic Implant Dentistry Kansas City in Kansas City, MO a call today at (816)320-6414.