Symptom of Dry Mouth
A record number of people take prescription medications regularly for high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, allergies, weight loss, Parkinson's disease, pain and more. A common side effect of these medications is dry mouth. Dry mouth may be a nuisance but it can also create significant problems affecting oral hygiene.
Saliva acts as a natural cleansing rinse because it contains compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth. It washes away these bacteria that accumulate in your mouth as well as food and other debris on which the bacteria feed. Without a proper routine of oral hygiene, conditions for growth of bacteria associated with periodontal disease are perfect since insufficient amounts of saliva reduce the body’s ability to reduce the effect of bacterial waste.
Symptoms of Bad Breath
It’s common for everyone to have bad breath occasionally, but chronic halitosis can indicate a more serious problem. In such cases, the odor is caused by bacteria, decaying of food particles, and improper oral hygiene.
A diligent routine of proper oral hygiene is essential to helping remove bacteria that hide and multiply between your teeth. These bacteria are also a breeding ground for infection and periodontal disease.
Whether you suffer from chronic dry mouth or bad breath, the solution starts with a visit to the San Bruno Periodontal dentist. Like most oral health issues, periodontal disease is most effectively treated as soon as possible so that more costly treatment can be avoided in the future.
An increasing number of patients in my practice are reporting a problem with dry mouth. This condition is termed "xerostomia." Xerostomia can be a side effect of the medications a person is taking for illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, allergies, weight loss, Parkinson's disease, pain and many more. However, there are many other factors that contribute to a decrease in salivary production including the aging process, radiation treatments and depression.
At San Bruno Dental Medicine we know that, aside from being annoying, the symptoms of dry mouth can cause significant dental hygiene problems. Saliva is the body’s natural cleansing mouth rinse. Each time we swallow, saliva washes away bacteria, as well as the food and debris on which they feed. Saliva contains compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth, and without proper dental hygiene dry mouth enhances the conditions for bacterial growth (and associated periodontal disease) as the ability to neutralize bacterial waste products is reduced.
If you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth and you suspect that it may be due to medication, consult with your medical doctor who may be able to adjust your dosage to help alleviate the problem. Some other steps you can take to reduce symptoms are:
- Using sugar-free candy or gum
- Drinking plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist
- Using a vaporizer to add moisture to the air in your bedroom
- Using an artificial saliva substitute available at your pharmacy
The reduction in saliva production leads to the very conditions on which the bacteria in your mouth thrive, allowing bacteria lingering at the gumline and between teeth to cause serious damage, periodontal disease or gingivitis. Since patients with Xerostomia (dry mouth) are at increased risk for periodontal disease, good dental hygiene - brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride rinse, and visiting your San Bruno California Dental Office frequently for cleanings and examinations - are critically important to your oral health.
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