Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia is not just an annoying symptom, it is a condition that can bring some major health complications if left untreated, especially on your dental health.
Dry mouth occurs when salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva. This condition can occur to anyone, especially when they’re nervous, stressed or upset. However, for some people, the condition can be an ongoing problem when the salivary glands are not fully operational. When dry mouth happens for a prolonged amount of time, it can result in some major health complications such as diabetes.
Saliva plays a very vital role when it comes to oral health. It provides a natural defense against acid erosion through neutralizing the acids within the mouth, restores minerals to the teeth and washes away food debris. When your salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva, it can result in serious health complications. Here are some of them:
Gum disease is a common condition that occurs as a result of dry mouth. This condition occurs as a result of infection of the tissues and bones supporting the teeth. Plaque buildup is the most common cause of gum disease. In the early stages known as gingivitis, the disease is often painless. This is because at this stage it has only affected the gums. Gingivitis can be reversed through professional dental cleaning by a dentist.
The advanced stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. At this stage, the condition is dangerous and can easily lead to tooth loss. During this stage, plaque and tartar build up under the gum line forming some deep pockets. Dry mouth contributes to the build-up of plaque and tartar, which, if left on the gum line for a long time can lead to gum disease.
Dry mouth can also lead to severe tooth decay. Tooth decay is a dental condition where dental caries are formed on the surface of the tooth. Without the cleaning effect provided by the saliva, plaque and bacteria will begin to eat away the enamel and thus leading to dental caries. Dental caries, also known as cavities are permanently damaged parts of the tooth that if left untreated develops into small holes which result to tooth decay. Tooth decay is a painless condition until the cavities have formed on the tooth.
Acids left to sit on the surface of the teeth can lead to enamel erosion. The enamel is the protective layer of the teeth. Enamel erosion leaves the inner part of the tooth unprotected and can result in root canal infection or tooth decay.
A dry mouth allows bacteria to act on the accumulated sugars and other food debris in the mouth, thus producing a smelly gas known as volatile sulphur compounds. The gases are the one responsible for causing morning bad breath and day time halitosis.
Dry mouth can result in an embarrassing situation such as bad breath. Fortunately, there are quite a number of treatments to deal with this condition. To find out which treatment is right for you, visit our dentist in Springvale or our dentist in Keysborough. We welcome you to make an appointment today.