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Oral Health and Summer Time

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As we find ourselves in the heat of summer staying well hydrated is essential. But, there are people who have dry mouths all the time. These people do not find it easy to keep their mouths hydrated and lubricated.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of salvia in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent decay and other oral health problems.

Dry mouth may be a sign of a serious health condition or may occur when a person is upset or experiences stress. Studies show that up to 400 medications, prescriptions and over-the-counter, can contribute to symptoms associated with dry mouth. The most common troublemakers are antihypertensives, antidepressants, painkillers, tranquilizers, diuretics, and antihistamines.

You want to prevent dry mouth if possible because it causes difficulty in tasting, chewing, or swallowing. It also allows plaque to build up on your teeth faster, leading to a higher risk of cavities. In certain cases, a lack of moisture can make your tongue become very sensitive, causing a condition called burning mouth syndrome.

Saliva helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria, provides enzymes to help digest food, protects teeth from decay, and keeps oral tissues healthy. Without saliva you would lose your teeth much faster.

Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are your best bets to help keep this as stable as possible. There are saliva substitutes and aids that can be helpful.

Please call to discuss any questions you may have.

Drs. Steinberg and Weger


Last modified on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 12:28

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