Saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth healthy. Saliva prevents tooth decay by neutralising acids produced by bacteria as well as limiting bacterial growth by washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.
When you don’t make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. A dry mouth can have a major impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
Signs and symptoms of a dry mouth:
Dryness or stickiness in your mouth
Stringy or thick saliva
Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Dry or sore throat
Problems wearing dentures
Complication from not producing enough saliva:
Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
Cracked lips or sores or splits in the corners of your mouth
Common reason why you might have reduced saliva:
Tobacco and alcohol use
Recreational drug use
You should see your dentist if you have an unusually dry mouth. The best form of treatment is to eliminate the cause however this is not always possible.
Symptoms of a dry mouth can be relieved by:
Using over the counter preparations for dry mouth
Chewing sugar free gum or suck sugar free lollies
Sipping water regularly
Limiting caffeine and stopping tobacco use
Avoiding mouthwashes that contain alcohol
Breathing through your nose
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