Dental Damage Related to Dry Mouth
By Randal Watson, DDS on April 03, 2017
Most people can recall a time when the mouth felt especially dry and parched. Unfortunately, many patients deal with this feeling on a daily basis. Dry mouth is a medical condition that results in an inadequate production of saliva. Persistent dry mouth leads to significant discomfort, but more than that, it puts a person’s oral health at risk.
Dental damage and dry mouth are directly linked, leaving many of our Austin, TX patients in need of restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild tooth strength and improve oral health. Dr. Randal Watson offers the dental services that will repair oral damage caused by dry mouth. He also provides his patients with some helpful tips for restoring oral moisture to prevent future cases of dental damage.
The Risks of Dry Mouth
Saliva is a lot more important than most people realize. First, saliva plays a role in the digestive system. It helps to break down food and also makes swallowing more comfortable. After a person has finished eating, saliva has another job. It rinses and cleans the teeth to help get rid of any small food particles that have been left behind. By removing small pieces of food, as well as sugars, acids, and starches, saliva can prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Without saliva, chewing and swallowing become more difficult. This can result in more food particles being left behind between the teeth and gums. Unfortunately, without saliva to clean the teeth, dental problems can develop. Dry mouth is linked to several forms of dental damage. Some of the oral health risks for patients with dry mouth include:
- Tooth decay
- Acid erosion
- Root canal infection
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth loss
What to Do about Dry Mouth
With the increased risk of dental damage, dry mouth should not be ignored. Many people who suffer from dry mouth do not realize that there are things that can be done to restore moisture to the mouth. It is important to discuss dry mouth with an experienced dentist, such as Dr. Watson, as well as a general physician to determine what is causing dry mouth, and what can be done to treat it.
Below are some helpful tips for treating dry mouth:
- Begin using an artificial saliva product (most commonly available as a mouth rinse)
- Drink water frequently throughout the day
- Chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production
- Limit caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid tobacco use
- Consider whether any medication changes should be made
Restoring Oral Health
It is important to take steps to restore moisture to the mouth so that oral health risks can be minimized. However, it is also vital to treat any damage that dry mouth has already caused. Dr. Watson offers a range of restorative and periodontal services that can restore the health of the teeth and gums. Some treatments that may be beneficial to patients with dry mouth include dental fillings, dental crowns, root canal therapy, and root planing and scaling.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are concerned about dry mouth and the impact it may be having on your oral health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Randal Watson at your earliest convenience. Dr. Watson can provide the dental care you need to restore a strong, healthy smile.
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“We strive to make every experience a positive one.” Randal Watson, DDS, PA