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A Dry Mouth May Be Signs of Bigger Health Issue…

Saliva isn’t something that most people think about, but when it’s not flowing, it becomes impossible to think about anything BUT. Lack of Saliva – or dry mouth syndrome, as it’s commonly referred to as – is a highly uncomfortable condition that causes everything from constant sore throat, a burning sensation in the mouth, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, dry nasal passages and hoarseness. If you’re experiencing any of the above – along with an abnormally dry mouth – you might be suffering from dry mouth syndrome.

Why You Want to Get It Checked Out

You may think, “Oh, I’ll just drink some water and all will be fine.” But no! That’s not how it works! And writing off the problem as something as simple as dehydration is dangerous to your oral health.

How do we mean? Well, for starters, saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay, and it is responsible for maintaining the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. When you take all that into consideration, saliva is a saving grace. That being said, when saliva production is low to non-existent, the following can occur:

·     Plaque and tartar build up

·     Extensive tooth decay

·     Gum disease

·     Tooth loss

·     Jaw malformation

Obviously, the above progression of things is only worst case scenario, but if you don’t take any steps to stop the condition, it could happen to you.

What You Can Do:

·     See your dentist, who will determine the cause

·     Chew sugar-free candy or gum to stimulate saliva flow

·     Use artificial saliva and oral rinses

Causes of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth isn’t a disease, but a symptom of medical disorder or side-effect of certain medications, such as:

·     Antihistamines

·     Decongestants

·     Pain killers

·     Diuretics

·     See your dentist for a full list of all other medications it can possibly be

A medical condition that typically causes dry mouth is Sjogren’s – an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture producing glands (i.e. tear secreting and salivating glands). If you believe this to be the case, contact your physician right away.

To determine the cause, and to get rid of the discomfort once and for all, visit http://www.lakeshorefamilydentist.com/library/33/DryMouth.html

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