For some people, occasional dryness of the mouth can be an annoyance, but also a problem that can be readily solved with a few glasses of water or a change in diet. For others, however, dry mouth is a chronic problem that puts them at risk for serious oral health diseases and disorders. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from chronic dry mouth do not realize how potentially dangerous their condition is until they visit their local Mountain View dental practice for an oral exam. This, of course, means that people who don’t regularly visit the dentist may suffer damage related to their chronic dry mouth that could otherwise have been avoided.
Dr. Van and his team of dental professionals do not want you and your family to suffer such damage to your oral health. If you or someone you love has chronic dry mouth, please understand that it is much more than just an irritating problem that you have to live with. It is a threat to your oral health and overall well-being. Fortunately, it is also a condition with a cause or causes that can generally be diagnosed and treated by an experienced dentist such as Dr. Van. However, for Dr. Van to help you avoid dry mouth and dental damage, you must visit his Mountain View, CA practice for a consultation.
To schedule your consultation with Dr. Van, please contact our general dentistry practice today.
What Causes Chronic Dry Mouth?
Chronic dry mouth can be caused by many possible factors, some of which lie within the patient’s control to change, and some of which do not. The most common contributor to chronic dry mouth is medication. Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and certain types of pain pills are notorious for causing dry mouth.
Other common causes of dry mouth include:
- Dehydration, due to lack of sufficient water consumption
- Poor diet
- Overconsumption of caffeine
- Certain diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease,
- HIV/AIDS, Sjogren’s syndrome, high blood disease, and rheumatoid arthritis
In many cases, more than one factor is contributing to a patient’s chronic dry mouth. Whatever the cause, Dr. Van will discuss treatments that will help to address that cause and promote increased saliva production in the mouth.
What Dental Damage Can Dry Mouth Do?
Most people realize that saliva is necessary to breaking down food, swallowing, and speaking. What they may not realize, however, is that saliva is one of the most powerful cleaning agents in all of nature. It neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and protects your teeth and gums against microbial invasion and overgrowth. This is in addition to washing away food particles that would otherwise remain lodged in your teeth and gums.
When your mouth does not produce adequate saliva, you become more susceptible to such oral health problems as:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Mouth infections
- Enamel erosion
- Bad breath
- Mouth pain
- Sore throats
By treating dry mouth as soon as possible, you reduce your risk for these and other serious oral health conditions.
Learn More about Dry Mouth and Dental Damage
To learn more about dry mouth and dental damage, please contact the general dentistry office of Dr. Van and Dr. Indah today.