Good day to you, Houston! It’s great to see that you are so interested in staying healthy and taking care of your teeth. This continuing blog from Antoine Dental Center is focused on helping you find the best ways to take care of your teeth and gums because strong oral health is essential to healthy living. Few things affect every aspect of your well being the way your oral health does. Your teeth are obviously important for eating healthy food and maintaining a balanced diet, but they are also vital for speaking clearly, as well as communicating non-verbally with a beautiful smile. In fact, if your teeth are not healthy you are likely not living as freely as you could be, and your quality of life could suffer.
Even though, though modern dental technology provides very realistic tooth replacements, like dental implants, there is nothing as good as your natural teeth. Studies have shown that senior citizens who manage to hang on to their original teeth have a higher quality of life and are happier than their counterparts with dentures and other tooth replacements.
This means that preventive care and and oral hygiene should be high on your list of priorities. Some aspects of oral hygiene are well known and easy. For example, we certainly aren’t the first people to tell you that brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is essential for keeping your teeth and gums in good shape. But some things may not be as obvious that. Something as seemingly trivial as dry mouth can be a serious threat to your oral health.
What’s So Bad About Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is little more than a lack of saliva, and saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against oral health ailments, like tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva keeps your mouth clean of food debris, it stops plaque from forming on your teeth, and it has antibacterial properties that fight dental caries.
Dental caries are the bacteria that cause tooth decay by converting food sugars to acid that corrodes your tooth enamel. Without saliva to protect your mouth, dental caries are free to form plaque and go to work creating tooth decay. When the acid level in your mouth rises as a result of a lack of saliva, then gum disease is not far behind.
But dry mouth is not just an oral health issue. Salivation is the first step in the digestive process, and with it, your food may not break down properly as it makes its way to your stomach. This can cause problems throughout your digestive system.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
In most cases, a lack in saliva is the result of not drinking enough water, which is simple thing to cure. Just drink more water. This is especially important if you are exercising or planning on spending some time outside in the sun. However, even if you are just going about your normal day to day routine, you need to make sure you are staying hydrated.
You also need to be careful about what you eat and drink because some food and beverages will dry you out. Salty cured meats and alcohol the biggest offenders in this category. So, if you plan on eating an Italian sub, and then washing it down with a pint of beer, you better follow it up with a large glass of water, or you could find yourself with dry mouth later.
Medication is also a common cause of dry mouth. This is usually remedied by upping your water intake, but if the dry mouth persist, you need to consult your doctor. You may need a special mouth rinse fight the effects of dehydration.
How Do You Treat Dry Mouth?
As we mentioned above, the best way to treat or prevent dry is to stay hydrated. Keeping a refillable bottle of water with you wherever you go will ensure you are never thirsty. Also, try to always drink water with your meals. This will help you combat the harm eating does to your teeth.
You can also keep sugarless gum and candy handy for those time when drinking water is not convenient or practical. They will help stimulate for production of saliva to keep your mouth moist.
Keeping regular appointments at Antoine Dental Center in Houston will help you keep your teeth healthy, so that you can keep them well into your senior years.
Contact us today to schedule a professional cleaning and examination.