When a person does not have enough saliva to keep their mouth moist, he or she suffers from a condition called dry mouth, or xerostomia. This condition can cause problems with speaking, swallowing, and chewing. It can also interfere with tasting food. A person who has a chronic dry mouth usually has a higher incidence of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral infections.
Often times, medications taken have a side effect of dry mouth. People undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also suffer from dry mouth because their treatments can change both the flow and composition of their saliva.
Saliva moistens the oral tissues and facilitates chewing and speaking. It also aids in both the digestion and tasting process. Saliva limits tooth decay by limiting the growth of bacteria and washing away food debris and plague.
The treatment of dry mouth depends on the cause. If you think that you are suffering with this condition, contact your dentist or physician to determine the cause. You may need to see your dentist more regularly to help you prevent plague buildup and cavity formation.
Please call our office with any questions you may have, we will be happy to help you.
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