Dry mouth is an issue that can be caused by a number of different medications and medical conditions. These conditions, which include Parkinson's Disease and Diabetes, can cause various health problems, but most people don't consider how dry mouth will affect their teeth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a little or no saliva in the mouth, leading to many different problems.
How Does Dry Mouth Affect Teeth?
When you're dealing with dry mouth, it may not be a big deal if it's only a short-term issue. If it's not, though, it will begin affecting your teeth. When you have plenty of saliva, it will help wash away food particles, preventing them from getting stuck in your teeth and causing bacteria growth. Saliva also neutralizes acids that can damage your teeth.
Chronic dry mouth will eventually lead to bad breath, but it can also cause more serious issues. Because you don't have enough saliva to wash away bacteria, your teeth will begin to decay. The enamel of your teeth will break down without saliva, which helps to repair enamel following eating and drinking. Eventually, this exposes the inner layer of the teeth known as dentin and, later, the roots of the teeth. When that happens, you'll know it—you'll have pain in the tooth.
Dry Mouth and Gum Disease
Besides leading to tooth decay, dry mouth can also cause gum disease. Without saliva to cleanse the gums, bacteria begin to build up and damage the gums. As more bacteria get stuck around the gum line, your gums can begin to become inflamed and lead to toothache.
If you're dealing with dry mouth, don't assume it's a minor issue that won't have any long-term consequences. It can be quite serious, so you should call today to make an appointment. We will help determine the cause of dry mouth and come up with a strategy to combat it.