ORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL
You often wake up in the morning with a noxious taste in your mouth. You smack your lips together because they’re dry. You may have jokingly referred to this as cottonmouth, but dry mouth is no laughing matter. That uncomfortable feeling that lingers in your mouth and throat stems from a lack of saliva production that could be destroying your teeth. Your Orange City dentist Terry Soule, DDS, created this guide to help you understand and stop your chronic dry mouth.
The Importance of Saliva
For many unassuming victims of dry mouth, the idea that what appears to be a little nuisance actually could be wreaking havoc on your oral health might sound absurd. However, saliva plays a key role in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Here are three key functions of saliva:
- Natural Mouthwash: Saliva is your body’s equivalent of an antimicrobial wash. Saliva contains a variety of antibiotic compounds, which break down potentially harmful bacteria as well as any food debris that is stuck to your teeth. After your saliva does its work, you swallow on instinct, rinsing away these cavity-causing agents. However, you still need to brush and floss daily to reduce your risk of cavities.
- Buffering Agent: Tooth enamel is strong, and it protects your teeth against decay and injury. Enamel has one natural weakness, though: acid. Consuming high-acid foods and drinks can deteriorate your enamel. Saliva acts as a buffer, meaning it neutralizes any acids that are present and maintains a healthy pH balance in your mouth. Without enough saliva, these acids can do more damage.
- Repair: Saliva acts to remineralize and repair minor damage in your teeth. Your teeth are going to lose minerals as time passes. However, saliva is rich in these same minerals, replenishing and fortifying your teeth.
The Causes of Dry Mouth
The most common causes of dry mouth include the following:
- Mouth breathing
- Using tobacco
- Being treated for cancer
- As a side effect to certain medications
- Illness and/or allergies
How We Can Help
To know the true cause of your case of dry mouth, you need to be evaluated by your general dentist in DeBary, Dr. Terry Soule. Isolating the cause of your dry mouth is the first step in deciding how the condition should be treated. Managing dry mouth could be complex if the cause is a medication side effect. The remedy could be something as simple as drinking more water or indulging in sugar-free gum or candy. You may need a prescription medication that encourages saliva production. Scheduling a dental appointment is the only way you can truly get to the root of the problem and get back to having a healthy mouth. You also can make lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on alcohol, coffee, and soda, as well as any use of tobacco.
Treatment for Dry Mouth in Orange City
Scheduling regular dental checkups is the only way to ensure you stay on top of dental problems such as dry mouth. If you experience chronic dry mouth, don’t suffer and ignore it. Make your appointment with Terry Soule, DDS, by calling (386) 775-1552 if you’re located in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL.