When it comes to the mouth our taste buds allow us to enjoy a rainbow of tasty sensations, from scrumptious-frosted cupcakes to the cheesiest of pizza, our mouths can be the gateway to deliciousness. However, when our mouths struggle to naturally produce saliva, it becomes a gateway to complications that can potentially lead to gingivitis, decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
What is the importance of saliva?
Saliva plays a key role in oral health. It is the mouth’s way of naturally “washing” unwanted-harmful food particles and bacteria away before they cause major-oral complications. Here are reasons why saliva is important for your dental health:
- Protects teeth from decay
- Aids in the digestion of food
- Prevents infection by controlling bacteria
- Aids in the act of swallowing food
- Keeps the mouth feeling comfortably wet
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
Besides the obvious effect that is implied in the name, here are other symptoms that may mean that you are experiencing dry mouth:
- Trouble chewing, tasting and speaking
- A sticky feeling in the mouth
- Dry or rough patches on the tongue
- Chapped lips
- Infection within the mouth
- Burning within the mouth
What are the causes of dry mouth?
When the glands in the mouth fail to function properly it leads to dry mouth. There are several reasons why salivary glands might not work correctly:
- Chemotherapy – those who are going through chemo treatments usually experience dry mouth due to the chemicals involved
- Disease – certain diseases, such as Sjoren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes
- Radiation therapy – exposure to radiation can damage the salivary glands
- Nerve damage – Injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that communicate with the salivary glands
What can be done if you have dry mouth?
If you feel like you are experiencing dry mouth, and are unsure what the underlying cause, our professional expertise can help by identifying the problem. Whether it is a side effect of medicine or damage to the salivary glands, we can help keep your dental health in good shape by eliminating dry mouth. Contact our office today and get a head start on avoiding complication from malfunctioning salivary glands.