A preventable problem such as dry mouth can have a negative impact on your teeth.
In general, our mouths are kept moist by the production of saliva. It plays an important part in maintaining our oral health by washing away food particles, along with the bacteria that form in our mouths.
Occasionally, our mouths may become dry and, whilst we probably think of this as little more than a slightly unpleasant feeling, the reality is that it can do damage to our teeth and gums over a period of time.
The good news is that dry mouth is, on the whole, largely avoidable and, provided they are noticed in the early stages, some of the problems caused by dry mouth can be treated in a relatively straightforward manner.
Symptoms of a Dry Mouth
Although a general feeling of dehydration is the most obvious sign of dry mouth, others include split or cracked corners of the mouth, dry lips or even sores.
Whilst the cause of a dry mouth is usually associated with insufficient intake of fluids, there can be other factors which may also cause this problem.
These include working in an environment where the air is dry, some medications, and also tobacco and alcohol use. Diabetics are also more susceptible to a dry mouth and should monitor their oral health very carefully.
Issues arising from a dry mouth
Whilst a dry mouth every now and then may not be a major cause for concern, if left untreated, there are a number of problems which can arise.
Through a lack of saliva in the mouth, the food particles that would normally have been removed by it remain. This is an excellent food source for the bacteria which will also have increased in number due to the lack of saliva.
Over time, the bacteria will build to the point where they start to cause damage to the enamel of the teeth, leaving the inner pulp susceptible to infection. The gums too are also likely to be attacked by these bacteria and may result in soreness or redness of the gums, usually an early sign of gum disease.
In addition, sufferers of a dry mouth may have bad breath and may also lose a degree of taste which can detract from the enjoyment of their food.
Preventing a dry mouth should always be the first step and ensuring that you drink sufficient water is a good place to start. Saliva production may also be encouraged by chewing sugar free gum and switching to an alcohol free mouthwash.
When problems do arise from having a dry mouth, such as dental decay or gum disease, treatment will need to be provided by one of our Bristol based dentists. In the case of decay, providing it has not caused too much damage to the tooth, this may be repaired with a dental filling. At Beau Monde Dental Care in Bristol, the fillings that we use are tooth coloured and should not detract from the appearance of your teeth.
To help prevent the onset of gum disease, removal of the hardened bacteria from your teeth will be done with a professional scale and polish. This is not a painful procedure and will help to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.
If you suffer from a dry mouth or have indications of gum disease such as soreness or redness, please call our Bristol dentist on 0117 330 3495 to arrange an appointment.Google+