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At our Mount Prospect Family Dentist office, we’ve recently seen an increase in the number of patients who complain about dry mouth. Dry mouth can occur for a number of reasons. Dry mouth is a common side effect of a number of prescription medications such as antidepressants and anxiety medications, blood pressure medications, pain medications, and others. It is uncomfortable and annoying but it can also put your oral health at risk.

It’s important to understand that saliva does not exist just to aid eating or digesting. Saliva is also the body’s natural cleansing mouth rinse. This is because it contains compounds that effectively kill bacteria in the mouth.

Why is this important? It’s important and necessary because saliva helps to wash away bacteria that accumulate around your teeth and gums all day, including the food and debris on which the bacteria feed.

Dry mouth exists because of the lack of sufficient saliva due to one or more health issues, and this condition creates a very hospitable environment for bacteria present in the mouth to linger, potentially causing periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a serious health concern affecting many people, often without their knowledge. When bacteria in your mouth are allowed to go unchecked; they build up around your teeth at the gum line causing an infection of the gum tissue and ultimately leading to periodontal disease. That is one reason we recommend regular exams with our dentist and cleanings with our hygienist.

When you are experiencing dry mouth, you need to be extra diligent about your oral hygiene routine. Brushing after every meal is ideal but not always possible. Swishing water around your mouth is not the perfect solution but it will help to some extent.

It’s important to recognize that dry mouth can lead to periodontal disease, so regular dental cleanings and check-ups at our Mount Prospect Family Dentist office become very important to maintaining proper oral health.