Dry Mouth Destroyed My Teeth

Many patients experience significant dental complications after their dry mouth problems begin.  All their life they had great teeth until dry mouth changed all that. This unfortunately is a common and serious complication of Xerostomia.

Why can dry mouth ruin teeth?

The answer lies in the role saliva plays in maintaining the balance in the oral cavity. Saliva is involved in tasting, chewing, swallowing, speaking, food digestion, maintenance of a neutral pH, as well as teeth and gum cleansing.

 

Cavities

Very importantly saliva is critical in cleansing teeth and their remineralization (replacing the lost minerals so cavities do not start and get bigger). Saliva is 99% water, but it contains minerals, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, phosphate, which help maintain the mineral content of teeth. This process helps repair small cavities in enamel of teeth which are created by the acids produced by bacteria. If there is less saliva, the small cavities do not get repaired as effectively, they grow into bigger cavities which, if not treated can progress to infection, swelling, and possibly tooth loss etc.

 

Gum disease (loss of support for teeth)

Saliva is important in physically cleansing the gums. Even though regular brushing and flossing is essential, our saliva is also very important in washing away plaque and bacteria. If we do not have enough of it, plaque (which will turn into calculus with time if not removed) will accumulate around teeth and gums and cause inflammation (gingivitis).

 

If gingivitis is not properly managed it can progress into periodontitis. This happens when the inflammation from gingivitis leads to shrinkage of the bone that supports teeth. If teeth do not have bone support they become lose and eventually can fall out.

Can this be prevented?

Even if we do have the condition of dry mouth working against us there are things we can do to help protect our teeth.

By following a rigorous dental hygiene

  • Brush teeth gently at least twice per day with fluoridated tooth paste.
  • Floss every day.
  • Dental visits at least every 6 months. Have radiographs taken as indicated.
  • Ask your doctor whether prescription - strength fluoride toothpaste and fluoride varnish application is indicated for you.
  • Treat oral and fungal infections.
  • Reline poorly-fitting dentures.

 

 

By Managing Dry Mouth 

  • Proper diet
  • Staying hydrated
  • Avoiding dry-mouth causing habits.
  • Over the counter dry mouth products
  • Prescription medications
  • Making sure your surroundings are dry-mouth-friendly.
  • Prevent mouth-breathing

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Best Wishes, 

Dr. Anna

CEO Smile Genius

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