Chronic Dry Mouth Can Increase Your Chances of Developing Tooth Decay

The saliva in your mouth plays several important roles. Not the least of which is to help wash away food particles after you’re done eating. At the same time, chronic dry mouth also promotes the natural bacteria living in your mouth, increasing your chances of developing tooth decay. There are several potential causes of dry mouth and there are different methods to mitigate them.​

Some prescription medications result in decreased saliva production. While you will need to continue taking the medication per your doctor’s orders, there are still ways to maintain adequate moisture in your mouth. This could be as simple as sipping on water periodically through the day. In some extreme cases, there are prescription saliva substitutes that might also help.​

Dry mouth can also be the result of chronic dehydration issues. This is even more likely to be the case if you abuse alcohol on a frequent basis. At the same time, frequent tobacco use can also impair the function of saliva glands in your mouth.​

There are certain medical conditions that affect the kidneys, liver or blood that can also cause reduced saliva production. This can also be the result of oral or pharyngeal cancer.​

If you have been struggling with dry mouth issues in Pell City, Alabama, and you need help identifying the source, you can always call 205-473-0044 to set up a consultation with your dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett, at Pell City Dental Center PC.


Resolving to Have Your Healthiest Smile Yet

Many of us are seeking to put our best foot forward for positive change in the new year. If you are making resolutions, don’t forget your smile! A healthy smile boosts your self-image and benefits your general health along the way. In fact, we would like to share the ADA’s (American Dental Association) suggestions for a healthy start to the new year with the following oral habits:​

Brush: To ensure healthy teeth and gums along with better breath, brush your pearly whites twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.​

Floss: To remove harmful plaque from teeth and along the gumline where your toothbrush bristles can’t reach, be sure to floss at least once a day.​

Sugarless Gum: Chewing sugarless gum can help keep tooth decay at bay as it washes away harmful bacteria and bathes teeth and gums with saliva and its protective enzymes.​

Nutrition: A balanced diet with plenty of tooth-scrubbing vegetables, tooth-building protein, and fresh fruit can build a strong body and strong teeth and bones.​

Water: Hydration serves two purposes, one, hydration which supplies the proper fluid levels for healthy saliva production which prevents dry mouth and keeps your oral environment healthy, and two, drinking fluoridated tap water will help protect your teeth from the harmful effects of acid on tooth enamel.​

Dental Cleanings: Twice a year professional dental cleanings and checkups will prevent tooth decay and gum disease which results in healthy smile longevity.​

Restorative Dentistry: If you have been putting off getting cavities filled or restoring your smile with crowns or implants, now is the time to cross them off your list with the satisfaction of a healthy, new smile.​

Smile Alignment: A straighter smile is actually a healthier smile; not only will you be able to chew your food properly, but straighter teeth are easier to clean, and correcting malocclusion means your pearly whites won’t suffer the effects of stress on your jaw joints. This will prevent TMJ along with wear and tear on your teeth.​

Tobacco Use: If you have been considering giving up your tobacco habit, starting the new year is a good time to do it. You can find support through family and friends, smoking cessation groups, and online apps that can track your progress. Not only will your smile thank you, but your body too!​

If you are looking to make 2017 the healthiest yet, remember to include your smile by implementing these oral care habits. If you would like to schedule your next dental checkup and exam, please call 205-473-0044 today. At our practice in Pell City, Alabama, Dr. Scott Barnett and our team wish you and yours a healthy, happy 2017!