Can Dry Mouth Cause Cavities?

man holds his nose and mouth suffering from dry mouth

If you’re dealing with dry mouth, it’s important to know that it’s more than just a nuisance. Dry mouth can actually leave your mouth vulnerable to further health issues. Read on to learn more about dry mouth, and what you can do about it.

What Is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is a condition in which your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva to properly irrigate your mouth. Dry mouth may occur as a side effect of certain medications and can also happen with age. Other causes include nerve damage, tobacco use, and other health issues.

Can Dry Mouth Cause Cavities?

Saliva is good for more than just keeping the mouth wet. Saliva actually helps to prevent tooth decay. This is because saliva neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth, halting the growth of bacteria and washing away food particles. So, yes, without sufficient saliva you are at higher risk for cavities. Saliva also helps you swallow your food, and it contains enzymes that help you digest.

Other Side Effects From Dry Mouth

In addition to tooth decay, there are a number of other issues that you could face as a result of dry mouth. Complications include a dry, sticky mouth; thick, stringy saliva; bad breath; sore throat or hoarse; dry tongue; change in taste; and trouble wearing dentures. Eventually, dry mouth can lead to gum disease, mouth sores, yeast infection, cracked lips, and even more nutrition as a result of challenges chewing and swallowing.

Comprehensive Care in Overland Park, Kansas

If you’re noticing any of the signs of dry mouth outlined above, it’s important that you let us know as soon as possible. If you give our office a call, we will set you up with an appointment to have a look and help you find solutions.

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