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You’ve probably experienced it at one time or another: that dry, tacky, unpleasant, and uncomfortable feeling in your mouth that persists. It may last a while, and it can make it hard to chew, speak, or do much of anything. We’re talking about dry mouth, which is a lot more than just a nuisance, as you may already know. If that’s not the case Queens cosmetic dentists Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel would like to take a quick look at dry mouth and its potential dangers beyond mere inconvenience.

What is dry mouth?

Known also as xerostomia (though obviously not called that as much in regular conversation), dry mouth is just what it sounds like. Getting dry mouth every now and then is actually pretty natural, but some people actually have chronic and persistent dry mouth, which can lead to many different dental problems.

Causes of Dry Mouth

One of the most common causes of dry mouth is stress, which is usually what triggers dry mouth in a lot of people. It’s also common to experience dry mouth after taking certain medication, which is also a common cause.

If you are not hydrating properly throughout the day, you may experience varying degrees of dry mouth due to dehydration. Conversely, consuming alcoholic beverages, especially in excess, can lead to dry mouth.

There are also problems with the salivary glands that can cause dry mouth, such as blockages or reduce saliva production. Whatever the cause, if you meet with an Astoria cosmetic dentist at our practice, we will work to ensure that your dry mouth issue is addressed in some fashion.

Dangers of Dry Mouth

We mentioned above that speaking and chewing can be hampered due to dry mouth, but there are more serious dangers to consider. The most important one involves tooth decay. Saliva in your mouth helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. It lubricates the mouth and remineralizes the enamel of the teeth. When it’s not present, the teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay and the gums are more susceptible to gum disease.

In addition to the vulnerability of the teeth and gums, dry mouth can also make your breath much worse. A number of cases of chronic bad breath are actually related to dry mouth.

Treating Dry Mouth and the Problems it Causes

If your dry mouth is caused by blockages in the salivary glands, you may be able to treat that simply by sucking on sour sugar-free candies. This will promote saliva production and hopefully rid you of those problematic blockages. It’s recommended that you stay well hydrated and that you have a glass of water in case you experience dry mouth. There are also artificial saliva products available at stores which can help in a pinch or if you’re dealing with chronic dry mouth.

If there is damage to the teeth or gums due to dry mouth, you may be helped by any number of cosmetic dentistry treatments. For decay, there are bonding options, dental fillings, and crowns, and for major decay, it may be necessary to get Queens dental implants in order to replace a severely damaged tooth. Whatever treatments you may need, know that we will also do what is in your best interests for optimal dental health and excellent appearance of the smile.

Learn More About Your Dental Care Options

To learn more about your many options for expert dental care, contact our New York City cosmetic dentistry practice today.

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