In this post from Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings, we address the unpleasant topic of halitosis, also known as bad breath.
While poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many elements can contribute to the condition, or even make it worse. One of these is the lack of saliva, or xerostomia.
Saliva and Oral Health
One of the functions of saliva is moistening the teeth and gums and removing odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks and the minerals in saliva help to maintain enamel stability.
Immunoproteins in saliva curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby shielding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This protects against cavities and infections.
Many people are plagued with dry mouth sporadically; perhaps when they are perceiving anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
If you have occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can result in additional oral and physical health problems.
If you are coping with either condition, we recommend that you set up an exam and consultation with us at Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings. We will help you discover the source and guide you on treatment. Our services include family and restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!
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