Dangers of Dry Mouth By Byron Wall on February 22, 2013

Dangers of Dry MouthWe've all experienced it before: that uncomfortable, dry, sticky feeling in the mouth. It's dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia (the medical term) and cottonmouth (the colloquial/slang term). Many times we just bear through it, but sometimes dry mouth continues to occur no matter what we do. That might be a major problem.

Even though you may not have thought about it, persistent dry mouth may be a good reason to visit our Albuquerque cosmetic dentistry center. You see, dry mouth is sometimes the sign of serious dental health or general health issues. We'd like to go over some of the basics of dry mouth so you have a good understanding of some of the dangers associated with it.

Causes of Dry Mouth

Some of the most common causes of dry mouth include:

  • Nervousness/anxiety
  • Blockage in the salivary glands
  • Dehydration
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking
  • Systemic diseases
  • Taking certain medications
  • Using certain narcotics

Should you ever experience persistent dry mouth, visiting your doctor or a nearby restorative dentistry center is important. Doing so will allow you to get the problem addressed in a timely manner. Let's now look at dry mouth and its associated dangers.

Dry Mouth and Bad Breath

Dry mouth can actually make cases of bad breath worse. Saliva is meant to neutralize the acidity of plaque and remove dead tissue cells in the mouth. When it's not present, the dead cells and plaque are allowed to remain, making the smell of your breath worse.

Dry Mouth, Tooth Decay, and Gum Disease

When you have dry mouth, the conditions are such that tooth decay and gum disease can become worse as well. Again, this all has to do with the lack of saliva. In such cases, eliminating dry mouth may be part of some general dental care procedures.

Dry Mouth and Serious Health Problems

In some cases the dry mouth may be a side effect of a major health problem. Some oral cancers, for instance, might initially cause dry mouth by affecting the tissue around the salivary glands. Diabetes, Sjögren's syndrome, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, and other health conditions may have dry mouth as a symptom as well.

Treating the Effects of Dry Mouth

In terms of treating the deleterious effects of dry mouth on dental health, there are many different options. For tooth decay, dental fillings, inlays, onlays, and Albuquerque dental crowns are all good options. Gum disease can be treated through special rinses and grafting procedures. A full mouth reconstruction may be in order if the damage is severe.

Addressing Dry Mouth and Its Causes

More essential than treating the effects of dry mouth is addressing the dry mouth itself. We recommend patients remain well-hydrated. Should that not work, there is artificial saliva in spray, gel, and lozenge form that can prove quite helpful. If there is an underlying health problem that causes the dry mouth to occur, it's imperative that patients get the necessary medical treatment.

Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Treatments

For more information about advanced dental care treatments and what they can do for you, be sure to contact our Albuquerque cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health and a great-looking smile in the process.

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Dr. Wall

Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico

Dr. Byron W. Wall of Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico has provided greater Albuquerque with advanced services and compassionate dental care since 1983. Our friendly team offers a range of treatments to maximize the impact of your smile. Dr. Wall is affiliated with the:

  • Albuquerque District Dental Society
  • New Mexico Dental Association
  • University of New Mexico

To schedule an appointment at our office, contact us online or call (505) 883-4488.

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