Whatever you’re doing—eating, breathing, sleeping—saliva is helping you do it by keeping your mouth moist and comfortable. Saliva also protects your teeth by washing away filmy plaque, neutralizing acids from food and preventing bacteria from attaching to your mouth.
The enamel layer on your teeth is what protects the soft tissue and roots from decay, but enamel can be worn away by plaque and acid. Saliva supplies large amounts of calcium and phosphate ions to boost the enamel and reduce the demineralization process.
If you suffer from dry mouth, a condition that prevents your body from producing adequate saliva, your teeth are at risk of enamel loss and decay. Dry mouth is a common side effect of medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, high blood pressure regulators and muscle relaxants. Symptoms include a chronic dry sensation in your mouth, thick saliva, difficulty swallowing, a burning tongue, sores and cracks in the corner of your mouth, and increased plaque and tooth decay. You may be able to reduce enamel loss and decay through fluoride treatments and chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol or Recaldent.
If you suffer from dry mouth and suspect your condition is linked to your medication, speak with your dentist about having your prescription altered. Dr. Brett Langston will help you find the best solution to enhance your saliva production. Contact Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta at (404) 321-4588 and pay us a visit in Decatur, Georgia.