Dry Mouth

Saliva is full of minerals that help protect our enamel. It plays a vital role in protecting your teeth by washing away particles of food and neutralising the damaging acids. Insufficient saliva can leave your teeth vulnerable to attack from the acids which cause tooth decay.

Did you know:
That when you become dehydrated so do your teeth! And did you also know that when you are dehydrated your saliva production decreases leaving you with a dry mouth.

The condition known as Dry Mouth may be caused by:

  • The medication you take,
  • Poor diet – insufficient water intake
  • Your general health,
  • Treatment of, or a history of, chemotherapy (and/or) radiation treatment
  • Mouth breathing
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Illness
  • Dehydration
  • Smoking

It is a common complaint found among older adults, affecting approximately 20% of the elderly. Please let us know if you are aware of this as there are many treatments available to help ease the discomfort.

Some ways in which you can alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth include

  • Swish mouth with water after a meal
  • Increase water consumption
  • Chewing gum
  • Dry mouth products – eg toothpaste, oral balance gel
  • Reduce alcohol consumption

Having a dry mouth can be very uncomfortable. It is important not to suck on lollies as a remedy. There is no cure for dry mouth, but there are many things you can do to make life easier.

It is important that you inform us about any medications that you take that are causing you reflux or dry mouth, as these may be contributing to your dry mouth. It may be necessary to prescribe medicaments (e.g. fluoride treatments or tooth mousse) to help protect your teeth.

Saliva Testing
Healthy saliva is essential for a healthy mouth. It has a key role in protecting your teeth and gums by neutralising the acids from what you eat and drink. Saliva production is highly susceptible to various medications and lifestyle factors. This can result in dry mouth, bad breath, difficulty eating as well as a variety of oral health problems.
By performing a saliva test, we can identify any problems you may have, and improve the quality of your saliva.

The saliva is tested for:

  • Ph levels – how acidic your saliva is
  • Hydration levels – level of water in the saliva
  • Saliva buffering – how well the saliva reacts to acids in the mouth
  • Quantity – how much saliva is in your mouth

It is a simple procedure and provides a wealth of valuable information that we can use to improve your overall oral health.

Call (08) 8212 6335 today to discuss treatment for dry mouth at our Adelaide city dental clinic.