The Dangers of Dry Mouth

The Dangers of Dry Mouth By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on July 18, 2012

Dry mouth can be an uncomfortable condition and may lead to trouble swallowing, eating, or talking. People with dry mouth may also suffer from consistent sore throat and cracked dry lips. In addition to these problems, dental health issues are one of the biggest dangers of dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and lead to tooth decay. At Dr. Danny O’Keefe's Jackson cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. O'Keefe and our staff provide our Jackson patients with dry mouth treatment.

Causes of Dry Mouth

There are many potential causes of dry mouth. It is important to see a dentist to help determine what may be causing your dry mouth so that the best treatment can be determined. Possible causes of dry mouth include the following:

  • Stress
  • Use of Certain Medications
  • Some Illnesses or Disease
  • Smoking or Use of Tobacco Based Products
  • Dehydration

Problems Caused by Dry Mouth

At first, dry mouth may seem like more of an annoyance than a serious problem, but that is not the case. People who suffer from dry mouth are at high risk for many of the following dental health problems.

  • Bad Breath
  • Cavities
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease

Why is dry mouth the cause of such serious health issues? Saliva has a very important role in our mouth. Saliva is responsible for rinsing away food particles, neutralizing acids that can cause plaque, and rinsing and cleansing our mouths. The absence of moisture allows bacteria to multiply and grow on our tongues, between our teeth, and along our gum lines, causing damage to our teeth; this damage only gets worse if dry mouth is left untreated.

Treatment for Dry Mouth

Depending on the cause of dry mouth, the treatment may vary. It is important to meet with a dentist to determine the most likely cause of your dry mouth. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also vital to maintain a clean mouth and prevent tooth decay. There are also some steps that can be taken to help combat dry mouth.

  • Brush regularly with a fluoride based toothpaste
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy
  • Avoid foods that are dry, salty, or acidic
  • Use an oral rinse or saliva substitute
  • Try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth
  • Use a humidifier in your house

If dry mouth is persistent or has been left untreated and has already lead to serious tooth decay, restorative treatments may be needed. Dr. O’Keefe may recommend his patients in Jackson dental implants, dental crowns, or fillings to repair any damage that has occurred and restore a healthy and beautiful smile. 

Learn More

To learn more about your specific case of dry mouth and determine the best possible treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. O’Keefe. Dr. O’Keefe and his team at Family Dental Care can help prevent the dangerous effects of dry mouth or repair any damage that has already taken place. Regain a healthy mouth and your confidence!