A Overview of Dry Mouth

What is Dry Mouth?

Most people have had the experience of trying to swallow and realizing that their mouth is dry. Some people have dry mouth because they’re dehydrated. Other people may have their mouth dry out due to a strong wind as they’re walking down the street. This is a temporary concern that generally corrects itself with a drink of water; however, there are many patients out there who struggle with dry mouth chronically. For people who don’t know, dry mouth is the term given to people who have a generalized lack of saliva in their mouth. Also called cottonmouth, some people have salivary glands that simply don’t produce enough saliva. This can create numerous oral health problems that may need the attention of an oral health professional.

What can Patients Expect with Dry Mouth?

Patients who suffer from dry mouth should expect to experience several symptoms. Dry mouth can make it difficult to speak, chew, and swallow. Therefore, patients may have trouble carrying on a conversation for an extended period of time. They may also realize that it is harder to eat. In addition, patients with dry mouth are at an increased risk for oral health problems. Saliva contains a number of enzymes that are important in the initial digestion of food. Saliva also contains a large number of immune system cells that help to prevent infection by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Without these immune cells, patients may notice that they’re at an increased risk of developing cavities. In addition, saliva contains a large number of minerals that help to keep the teeth strong. Without these minerals, the enamel of the teeth becomes substantially weaker. The dentist may suggest a variety of treatment options to help increase the amount of saliva in the mouth. This will decrease the difficulty of eating and speaking while also preserving the strength of the teeth.

What are the Goals of Treatment?

The overall goal of the treatment of dry mouth is to increase the amount of saliva that is present. With an increased amount of saliva, the discomfort associated with eating, speaking, and swallowing will go away. In addition, the increased saliva will help to prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal infections from developing in the mouth. This will keep the teeth strong and prevent cavities. For long-term preservation of oral health, it is important that patients receive treatment for dry mouth.

More than Just Dry Mouth

People with dry mouth should remember that a lack of saliva can make it hard for people to digest their food in addition to decreasing the mouth’s resistance against infection by bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Patients in Lees Summit, MO should contact Summit Dental with Dr. Jacob Laudie. Dr. Laudie is a Lees Summit Dentist who has seen numerous patients struggle with dry mouth and other dental conditions. He is a knowledgeable dentist who has a reputation for exceptional dental care. Patients who are looking for a dentist should contact Jacob Laudie Dental today to schedule an appointment.