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Posted on: June 16, 2017
Dry Mouth? Why Your Oral Health Could Be At Risk
Dry mouth, although uncomfortable, isn’t typically seen as a huge problem. We blame it on dehydration, chalk it up to aging, or just ignore it all together. But many common medications cause chronic dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. This could also set you up for long-term damage if not properly treated and monitored. At Lake Minnetonka Dental, we want to demystify what makes dry mouth so damaging, and help our patients take care of it.
The Miracle of Saliva
Think it’s gross? It’s actually essential to our oral and systemic health.
Preventing tooth decay is the primary purpose of saliva. It naturally protects and repairs the tissues on teeth while also removing any leftover food or sugars. Saliva is also the body’s main line of defense against gum disease. It works 24/7 to neutralize bacteria and keep your mouth healthy. A lack of saliva will frequently lead to yellow or stained teeth because of food particles left stagnant in the mouth. It can also cause pain or irritation in the gums, tongue and throat, resulting in difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing.
Consider All Your Medications
The full list of medications that can cause dry mouth and other oral health problems is exhaustive. That’s why it’s so important to be thorough when filling out your patient history forms – even at the dentist. Dr. Laskin, and the team at Lake Minnetonka Dental, can use this information to help get to the root of the problem, or help prevent it all together. And don’t forget to check your medication’s side effects! As we’ve stated, many medications can cause dry mouth, but here are a few of the most common:
- Muscle relaxants
- Anxiety medications and antidepressants
- Overactive bladder medication
- Nasal decongestants and antihistamines
Suffering From Dry Mouth?
It might seem like a minor inconvenience, but it could be affecting your overall health. Dry mouth is often one of the first symptoms for a number of conditions, including diabetes, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety and depression, and autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Bottom line: Dry mouth is worth addressing. And at Lake Minnetonka Dental, you won’t have to wait weeks for your appointment. We specialize in same-day service! Just our offices at (952) 388-0287 and we’ll work with your schedule.
Take care of your dry mouth today!