Some people suffer with dry mouth and don't even know it. Dry mouth, a reduction in the flow of saliva, has a variety of causes. Stress, aging, low humidity, not drinking enough fluids and certain medical conditions are among the most common reasons people experience this problem. Dry mouth isn't just inconvenient - it increases the risk for dental problems and gum inflammation. How so? Saliva contains chemicals that keep bacteria responsible for dental caries and gum disease in check. In addition, it's a direct contributor to bad breath. Dry mouth is one explanation for "morning breath." If you have a dry mouth, good oral care is important for keeping your mouth, gums and teeth healthy. That means brushing and flossing after every meal or at least twice a day and seeing your dentist every six months to catch dental caries before they become more advanced. When you have dry mouth, you'll need to be more selective with your toothpaste because of the higher risk for decay and gum disease.
How to care for your teeth if you have dry mouth
When you're at greater risk for dental caries and gum disease, the type of toothpaste you brush with is important. The wrong toothpaste may not offer maximal protection against cavities and may be too drying. Choose one formulated specifically for dry mouth that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral proven to help prevent and even reverse dental caries. It can keep you from having to face a dental drill! Look for one that's sweetened with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that many dentists recommend for oral health. Fluoride toothpaste for dry mouth is normally free of ingredients that can irritate the gums. It gently cleanses, removing plaque, while leaving your mouth feeling moist and refreshed. At the same time, you get the added protection that fluoride offers every time you brush your teeth. Use it regularly for maximal protection. Don't forget to see your dentist every six months if you have dry mouth to ensure you're staying cavity-free and keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.