Have you ever felt like there’s a ball of cotton jammed into your mouth? Dry mouth affects everybody at some point in their lives, usually from minor dehydration. Whether chronic or temporary, dry mouth can be more than uncomfortable. It can be detrimental to your oral health. Dr. Corbet Locke gives you some facts to help you protect your teeth during a dry mouth spell.

Dry Mouth Facts

  • Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when your mouth does not produce adequate amounts of saliva. In a sense, dry mouth is an oral drought.
  • Aside from moistening your mouth, saliva also acts as your body’s natural tooth defense booster. It contains the same minerals as your tooth enamel (i.e., calcium and phosphate) so it can assist your enamel in remineralization after acid attacks drain your tooth of these minerals. In cases of saliva deficiency, chances of tooth decay and gum disease are significantly increased.
  • Because saliva is 90{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} water, it also acts to neutralize acids in the foods and beverages you consume, lessening acid attacks to your teeth.
  • Milk is an excellent substitute for saliva because it also contains calcium and phosphate. It can provide the protection that your mouth lacks in the absence of saliva.
  • Chewing and swallowing are uncomfortable when you experience dry mouth. Many patients with xerostomia do not receive sufficient amounts of nutrients because eating is so difficult. Although water is excellent at moisturizing your mouth, milk also contains many of the minerals and nutrients that patients lack due to decreased meal frequency.
  • Saliva production can be induced by jaw motion. Chew sugarless gum as a healthy way to generate saliva production.

Dry mouth is a common symptom of some diseases and side effect of some medications. If you think your medication or medical condition may be causing your dry mouth, consult with Dr. Locke about alternative medications or treatments. To schedule a consultation, call our Waco dental office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.