Dry Mouth Dangers: Why It's a Bigger Problem Than You May Think By Tim Kelly, DMD, PA on February 09, 2015

A woman outdoors smilingDr. Timothy M. Kelly has a strong patient base in Albuquerque because of his commitment to comprehensive care. This includes advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry to improve overall dental health and wellness. Patient education is also important in good dental care, however, which includes covering issues that patients may not realize have a major impact on their health.

One such issue we'd like to focus on right now is dry mouth. While it may seem like a minor problem, there are numerous dangers that are associated with it.

About Dry Mouth (Xerstomia)

Dry mouth is a condition in which the mouth lacks moisture. This lack of saliva leads to a sticky and often uncomfortable feeling in the mouth. In addition, however, dry mouth can cause a number of dental problems, some of which are more serious than others.

Issues with Biting, Chewing, and Speaking

When you suffer from dry mouth, you'll notice issues with biting, chewing, and speaking. These are minor annoyances, all things considered, and yet they are worth noting. For temporary issues with dry mouth, a glass of water tends to be helpful for addressing these problems.

Problems with Bad Breath

When there is no saliva present in the mouth, the oral bacteria feasts on food particles that will not get pushed away or removed. This can make bad breath worse. Similarly, the dead cells on the tongue and the insides of the cheeks will not get carried off by saliva, which means that these dead cells fester and cause your breath to become worse.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease Progress Faster

When the mouth is dry and the oral bacteria is allowed to thrive, this means that both tooth decay and gum disease progress much faster. This is why it's important to have saliva in the mouth—it plays an important role in the body's natural ability to fight the effects of tooth decay and gum disease.

For persistent bad breath, a number of dentists tend to recommend artificial saliva products, such as sprays, gels, and lozenges.

Weakened Teeth Due to Lack of Remineralization

Saliva is important for remineralization of the teeth, which is a constant process and helps keep teeth strong and healthy. When the saliva is gone, the teeth cannot remineralize, which can lead to weakened or compromised tooth structure.

Potential Sign of Oral Cancer or Other Systemic Conditions

Perhaps the biggest danger of dry mouth is that it can be a symptom of a major health issue. Oral cancer and other systemic conditions often have dry mouth as an early sign of the problem.

If you begin to suffer from persistent dry mouth as well as cold sores, lesions, pain in the mouth, or other notable issues, be sure to visit your dentist right away so these matters can be examined in more detail. By diagnosing a problem sooner rather than later, proper medical attention can be sought.

Contact Our Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry Center

For more information about dry mouth and other serious dental health matters that may affect you or your loved ones, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Kelly and the entire team here looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest smile possible.

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Dr. Timothy M. Kelly

Timothy M. Kelly, DMD, PA

Timothy M. Kelly, DMD, PA, has been in practice in Albuquerque, NM, since 1981. He provides a wide range of cosmetic, restorative, and general dental services, with a special emphasis on the treatment of TMJ disorder. Some of our most popular services include:

To request an appointment with Dr. Kelly, please fill out our online form or call (505) 256-1770.

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"We believe that every patient has infinite worth and should be treated with dignity and respect. We are dedicated to educating, creating awareness, and empowering people to make treatment choices that are consistent with their own beliefs, needs and desires." Dr. Tim Kelly

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