You stand in front of your colleagues, ready to present your ideas. There’s nothing to be nervous about. But as you open your mouth to introduce your proposal, no sound comes out. Embarrassed, you try to clear your throat, but the cough gets trapped in your sticky esophagus. You try to lick your cracked lips, but it feels like someone has replaced your tongue with a potato. Despite your preparations, have your nerves sabotaged you? No – your dry mouth has.
Dry mouth may not always ruin presentations, but it sure can ruin your day. At Lakeside Dentistry, we view your dry mouth as a condition with treatment options, regardless of the cause. Our Rochester, MN dentist office has a variety of ways we can minimize the impact of your dry mouth while maximizing your relief from it.
Watch Out for Unexpected Side Effects of Dry Mouth
You know that one of the symptoms of dry mouth is your dry mouth itself. But dry mouth may impact you in some surprising ways:
- Holy halitosis, Batman! Without saliva to regulate the smell of your breath, your gob might smell like a cesspool.
- You can develop tooth decay, gingivitis, and even thrush in a mouth bereft of moisture.
- Denture wearers who suffer from dry mouth will often find that their dentures don’t adhere properly and that they slip and sometimes fall out.
Don’t Be Surprised that Dry Mouth is Responsible
You might be amazed that something as common and seemingly simple as dry mouth could cause all these problems. The real culprit here isn’t the presence of a dry mouth, but the lack of saliva. Believe it or not, your drool serves a greater purpose than collecting on your pillow while you sleep!
Not only does saliva aid in digestion, but it helps you taste food before it moves into your esophagus (a process also facilitated by saliva). That’s how the delicious chemicals in your dinner make their way to your taste receptors. Folks with dry mouth or low saliva production often report an inability to taste or a perpetual metallic taste.
However, a bad taste in your mouth could be related to a bacterial or fungal infection, which is usually prevented by saliva. Your ultimate defense against tooth decay, saliva, washes bacteria and food particles out of your teeth. It also flushes away the acid from certain foods and from decay-causing bacteria.
Guard Against Tooth Decay from Lingering Bacteria
If you do have dry mouth, be sure to take extra protective measures against tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. When you lack the defensive power of saliva, it’s important never to skip this step, even when you’re tired.
- Floss at least once per day, making sure to use the traditional C-shape along your gum line.
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash to keep your breath fresh and kill off any lingering bacteria.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Visit Lakeside Dental for exams and cleanings twice every year. We’ll remove any built up plaque, polish your teeth, and provide fluoride treatments to fortify your teeth against decay.
Manage Your Dry Mouth Symptoms
We have two effective options for managing your dry mouth.
- Biotene can be taken as a gel, spray, rinse, or toothpaste. With a pH similar to that of natural saliva, Biotene will reduce the dry feeling in your mouth and lips.
- PerioSciences takes an all-natural route, reducing dry mouth with antioxidants that create an antibacterial pH in your mouth while keeping your gums and tongue feeling moist.
Don’t Ignore Your Dry Mouth Discomfort
As you can see, dry mouth has a number of effects on your oral health and general comfort. In fact, one in every four people has dry mouth. And with over 400 medications listing dry mouth as a side effect, it doesn’t look like it’s going away.
Don’t give up potentially life-saving medications, but do talk to your doctor about your symptoms to see if dry mouth can be managed. Drink plenty of water, sipping on the stuff all day long. In fact, try to replace your usual caffeinated drinks with water at least some of the time.
Call us at Lakeside Dental (507-316-6444) to make your mouth’s lack of moisture less friendly to fungus and bacteria. We’ll discuss lubrication options and work with you to treat and prevent tooth decay. Your next work presentation won’t be disrupted by dehydration.