Xerostomia. It may sound like a foreign city or faraway planet, but it is actually a name for a very common health condition: dry mouth.
Most of us have experienced bouts of dry mouth from time to time, such as when we are dehydrated after exercise or are suffering with a cold that leaves us unable to breathe normally. However, some people have chronic dry mouth in Fort Lauderdale, FL… and that can quickly lead to a condition called gum disease.
How Dry Mouth Fosters Gum Disease
There are many reasons your mouth may dry out, including getting older and taking certain medications. Without a constant supply of moisture in the form of saliva, your teeth and gums become breeding grounds for bad bacteria. As the bacteria builds between the teeth and gums, those spaces become infected. Soft and hard tissues are essentially “eaten away”, and gum disease begins to advance.
The Stages of Gum Disease
In its earliest stage, gum disease can be hard to detect unless it causes gum bleeding, redness of the gums or severe bad breath. Usually, it takes an evaluation by a periodontist to determine the level of the disease. Sometimes, patients are unaware that they have the condition until their periodontist explains it!
Left unchecked, gum disease will not go away on its own. At the latter stages, it destroys so much bone and soft tissue that the teeth begin to loosen and fall out. Fortunately, this is all preventable.
Have Dry Mouth? Visit a Periodontist.
If you are someone who suffers from dry mouth, or if your loved one suffers from this problem, you will want to get in touch with a periodontist. Even if you do not think you have issues of the mouth, it is a good idea to get the advice from a trained dental provider.
At the same time, you will want to make efforts to increase the amount of moisture in your mouth. Some of the ways to reduce dry mouth include:
- Joining a smoking cessation program and quitting all types of tobacco products.
- Lowering the amount of sugary foods and drinks you eat and consume.
- Staying hydrated by keeping a bottle of water on hand at all times.
- Asking your primary care physician if your current medications could be contributing to your dry mouth. If so, following up by seeing if there are alternatives.
- Making sure you are staying on top of your daily oral hygiene regimen.
Remember that dry mouth is more than just a slight annoyance. It can lead to lifelong tooth and gum problems. Contact a periodontist today, and set yourself up for a healthier future.