Dry mouth is a serious annoyance for people who suffer from it. This condition may come and go for some, and for others it may be a constant frustration. There are many causes of dry mouth, and your holistic dentist is on the lookout for this condition so that they can help determine the source of the problem, and determine how to solve it.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Dry Mouth
When your mouth is dry, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which means cavities are more likely to develop as well as gum disease, ulcers, soreness, and infections. When there isn’t enough saliva to wash food and plaque away from your teeth, these particles stick around.
Diligent brushing and flossing isn’t enough to combat the side effects of dry mouth. And constantly sipping on water throughout the day will not be a strong enough substitute for low saliva production. One way to naturally produce more saliva is to use products that contain xylitol. Often found in sugarless gum or certain hard candies, xylitol is a natural sweetener that can defend against acids and help restore saliva production.
What Causes Dry Mouth
What your holistic dentist will be most interested in is the root cause of your dry mouth. And dry mouth can come from several different things:
- Diabetes: Diabetics are far more likely to suffer from dry mouth. One of the first things your holistic dentist will want to know is if you are a diabetic or at risk for diabetes.
- Medication: Certain types of medication are notorious culprits for causing dry mouth. Often people being treated for high blood pressure or depression suffer from dry mouth. If this is the case, discuss this side effect of your medication with your doctor to see if you can take an alternative that does not cause dry mouth.
- Aging: Alas, another wonderful side effect of aging is dry mouth. The older you get, the less saliva you produce, so don’t be surprised if the number of birthdays you’ve had are the main cause of low saliva production.
- Illness: There are some illnesses that can impair how well your salivary glands function, like dehydration, liver dysfunction, and tumors in the glands. Certain cancer treatments, particularly radiation, can also reduce saliva production.
- Bad habits: While your body should naturally produce enough saliva, it’s still important for you to provide your system with a decent fluid intake – and that means water – every day to help keep your mouth moist. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol can lead to dry mouth so watch your consumption of these beverages.
How to Combat Dry Mouth
After a diagnosis of dry mouth, is not uncommon for a holistic dentist to recommend biocompatibility testing in order to better customize your oral health treatment. These tests are also invaluable for their ability to alert your dentist to other issues that may be going on within your body that you’re unaware of. Often, it’s holistic dentists who are the first to figure out that a patient is suffering from diabetes. Your oral health provides deep clues to your overall well-being.
Don’t continue to suffer with dry mouth. Schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Yolanda Cintron at Fort Lauderdale’s International Center for Dental Excellence to discuss your oral health complaints and find a solution that will make you happier and healthy, from head to toe.