Dry mouth may seem like a minor annoyance, but nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Saliva plays a vital role in oral health. It helps wash away bacteria and food particles, neutralizes acids in the mouth, and aids with digestion. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to major dental health issues. Las Vegas cosmetic dentist Jason L. Downey and his team offer many treatments to restore teeth damaged by dry mouth and protect your teeth from further damage.
The Causes and Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands fail to create sufficient saliva. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors, some of which include:
- Certain medications
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Removed salivary glands
The symptoms of dry mouth can range from mild to painful. Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- The tongue feels dry or possibly raw
- Dry feeling mouth
- Mouth sores
- Dry, hoarse throat
- Cracked lips or split corners of the mouth
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating, swallowing, or tasting foods
Treating the Damage Caused by Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can lead to dental and oral health issues. Since saliva is important to washing away bacteria and food remnants, those who suffer from dry mouth are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss and painful conditions like oral abscesses. Fortunately, dry mouth can be alleviated and damage can be repaired. Some treatments to consider when suffering from dry mouth include:
- Drinking plenty of water, especially during meals, to help wash food particles away
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to encourage saliva production
- Increase moisture in your home by using a vaporizer
- Use an over-the-counter saliva substitute
- If your medication is causing your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about adjusting dosage or trying a different medication
Repairing the damage caused by dry mouth is possible. If dry mouth has caused you to suffer form tooth decay or other damage, you may benefit for such restorative dentistry treatments as:
- Tooth-colored fillings: Dental decay can be repaired with tooth-colored fillings for a seamless, unnoticeable look.
- Porcelain crowns: For those whose dry mouth problems have led to extensive dental damage, porcelain crowns may be a viable option. Porcelain crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit completely over damaged teeth to restore the tooth's strength and appearance.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers can reshape the front teeth for a flawless smile.
- Gum disease treatment: No dry mouth treatment can be complete without ensuring proper gum health. Gum disease often goes hand in hand with dry mouth. Fortunately, there are many options for treatment of gum disease, including root planing and scaling, as well as the flap procedure.
Find Out Which Treatment Is Right for You
Don't let dry mouth go untreated. There are many restorative dentistry treatments available to improve your oral health and repair damage. Schedule a consultation today to find out which treatments can work for you!