Many people wonder to themselves about issues they have with their oral health. Sometimes, you can trick yourself into believing something to be true, like thinking that a perfectly healthy tooth may be loose. The inverse of that can be true, as well.
We will often disregard serious issues as nagging annoyances, rather than medical concerns. One of these situations we see frequently is that of a dry mouth, or issues producing or retaining enough saliva within the mouth. Today, your Livonia, MI Dentist explains what to look for and what to tell your oral health professional.
Why Is My Mouth Like This?
Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different medical issues, and identifying the cause may very well help find a solution. Make sure to keep a history of as many factors related to your mouth as possible. And if anything has changed, let your dentist know when you have your checkup.
Many prescriptions can cause dry mouth, so if this is occurring, be sure to let both your doctor and your dentist know. This way if a change is necessary, both are informed of the alterations.
Certain illnesses and conditions can also affect the amount of saliva our bodies produce. For people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain an appropriate level of saliva. We understand the frustration and want to help you find that balance.
If you use tobacco or alcohol, those may be contributing factors to your condition. As oral health professionals, we have to advise you to avoid these products whenever possible, as they can lead to many different issues within the mouth.
What’s The Real Harm?
A mouth that is not producing enough saliva becomes significantly more at risk of damage and infection. Saliva itself is highly antimicrobial and antibacterial fluid, full of enzymes designed to protect the mouth. By removing this level of protection alone, the mouth is in immediate danger.
Beyond that, bacterial and fungal growth are allowed in a more unimpeded manner when there is less saliva. The fluid will manually wash away bacteria, as well as lingering food particles within the mouth. Tooth decay is much more likely to occur in a dry mouth than a healthy one.
With this, periodontal disease, or gum disease, is much more prevalent. Gum recession is likely, which leaves more of the tooth exposed, often allowing the root to show. When this occurs, the root often becomes infected. If this happens, a root canal is most likely necessary.
A dentist will perform what is called a pulpectomy, where the fleshy interior of the tooth is removed. This effectively renders the tooth dead, leaving only the hard structure. A crown is often placed over the top for support.
ABOUT YOUR LIVONIA, MI, DENTIST:
James Stewart, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, MI, as well as Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and the surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.