Xerostomia is a word used by dentists known commonly as dry mouth. When the salivary glands stop working properly it causes the mouth to become dry which can lead to tooth decay as well as oral health problems. Dry mouth can be caused by many prescription drugs and over the counter medications. People who are being treated by radiation therapyand chemotherapy or who have hormonal alterations, Lupus, Alzheimer’s disease and kidney disease are often affected by dry mouth. Other factors that can contribute to dry mouth are stress, anxiety, depression,nutrition and dysfunction of the immune system. Saliva plays a very important role in helping us taste, swallow, speak and digest. Our saliva is made up of electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes all of which help prevent tooth decay, bacterial, fungal and viral infections. When it comes to our health saliva is especially important because it helps rinse away food particles neutralize harmful acids and provides enzymes to help us digest. If you are experiencing dry mouth your dentist can help you with managing the problem. Your dentist may recommend you use saliva substitutes, over the counter mouthwashes, gels, and sprays. It is also recommended you brush and floss twice daily, drink plenty of water, and visit your dentist regularly.
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