Dental damage sneaks up on us. One thing that is usually overlooked in terms of oral hygiene is dehydration which if left untreated can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth is also referred to as xerostomia.
Some common symptoms of dry mouth are frequent thirst, dryness in the throat, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and bad breath.
Hydrated mouths produce enough saliva which helps combat dry mouth. Saliva is essential in cleansing and keeping mouths moist which aid in the digestion of foods. A mouth that lacks enough saliva cannot aid in regulating the amount of fungi and bacteria growing in it which can cause infections. Tooth decay can happen because the lack of proper saliva flow allows food to get stuck to teeth and not wash away naturally. A dry mouth can also cause plaque to harden on teeth and cause inflammation which can gradually wear away gums.
Xerostomia can also be caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking, side effects of certain diseases & medications, medical treatments and nerve damage. Sometimes an increase of water intake can quickly remedy this issue. However, if the cause is medical, having a discussion with your doctor who can adjust the dosage or change your medication may be necessary.
To avoid these problems, be sure to keep hydrated. Making sure the ‘hydrated’ days outnumber the ‘dehydrated’ days can stave off most common oral hygiene problems and inconveniences. If dry mouth persists, however, be sure to check in with a Sahara Dental oral care expert.