Saliva is one of the most important liquids in the body, but one that is often overlooked until it’s gone. Edmond, OK dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS answers questions about dry mouth, a condition that results from too little saliva.
Q: What is saliva?
Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Saliva is the liquid in the mouth made by the salivary glands. Though mostly water, saliva contains other substances which keep the mouth healthy. Saliva ensures the mouth stays moist. It helps you chew, taste, and swallow. It works against germs and helps prevent bad breath. More importantly, saliva contains minerals and proteins that guard enamel against decay.
Q: What causes dry mouth?
Edmond, OK dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS: One of the most common causes of dry mouth is dehydration. It may also be caused by cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases and infections. Lifestyle choices that affect a person’s saliva output includes smoking and chewing tobacco.
Q: What are some common symptoms of dry mouth?
Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS: One of the first things people notice at the onset is that the mouth is dry and sticky and they feel very thirsty. It may lead to mouth sores and dry, cracked lips. Eventually, the throats and tongue may become irritated. Chronic dry mouth can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
Q: Why is dry mouth a problem?
Edmond, OK dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Occasional dehydration- or medication-induced dry mouth is nothing to be concerned about. However, a long-term lack of moisture significantly raises one’s risk of gum disease and reduces the ability to wear dental prosthetics. Infections, such as thrush, are also common in patients with dry mouth.
Q: How is it treated?
Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Dry mouth can often be treated at home. Chewing or sucking on sugar-free candy or gum will boost the salivary glands’ output. Stay hydrated and use fluoride-enhanced toothpaste and mouthwashes. If you are mouth breather, try to consciously breathe through your nose when possible. If you feel your problem may be caused by dry air throughout the home, try using a vaporizer to add moisture into the air, especially in the bedroom. Your dentist may also prescribe an oral rinse or medication that encourages saliva production.
Mitch Park is actually the second park with that name in Edmond. The first one was built in 1893 by J.L. Mitch and was at the corner of Broadway and Campbell.