86% of People Experience Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
If you struggle with the constant feeling of having dry mouth, you may have Xerostomia [zeer-uh–stoh-mee-uh]. Dry mouth occurs when your saliva glands are not producing enough saliva. This can make every day tasks such as eating, swallowing and speaking difficult. Normal functioning salivary glands should produce 1 liter of saliva a day.
Dry mouth can lead to problems such as:
Could Medication be causing dry mouth?
Yes! over 500 over the counter medication can cause dry mouth.
Causes Of Dry Mouth:
Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands stop working correctly. This can be a caused to do:
- Cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy)
- Autoimmune disorders like Sjorgren’s Syndrome
- Medications – There are over 400 medications that can cause Dry Mouth.
Why Is Saliva Important?
- Saliva helps prevents bad breath
- Saliva makes it possible for you to chew and swallow food
- Saliva contains enzyme amylase to break down food
- Digestion starts in the mouth.
- Saliva contains antimicrobial agents that kill bacteria.
- Saliva protects your teeth from decay
- Saliva protects your gums from gum disease
- Saliva helps wash away bits of food that can cause decay
- Saliva prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth
- Saliva contains minerals that help rebuild the enamel surfaces of teeth
- Saliva helps neutralize acids that break down tooth enamel in the mouth during and after eating
Risks of Not Making Enough Saliva:
People who suffer from dry mouth, also called xerostomia (ZEE-ro-stoh-mee-ah), have a higher risk of developing tooth decay (Cavities and root canals) and or gum disease (periodontal disease). If left untreated, this can lead to more serious risks such as:
- Tooth Loss
- Heart Disease
The buildup of bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream and potentially settle on existing coronary artery plaques and help form clots in the arteries that feed your heart. Gum disease bacteria could directly increase atherosclerotic plaque buildup which can worsen conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Some Forms of Cancer
People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease as people without gum disease. A recent study showed that people with diabetes who have gum disease are six times more likely to have their blood sugar control worsen over time than those with diabetes but not gum disease. People with diabetes and gum disease are also at greater risk for kidney disease compared to people with diabetes who don’t have gum disease.
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Advanced Dental Care of South Florida
13901 US-1, Suite 9
Juno Beach, Florida 33408