I recently switched to a Holistic Dentist and I love the way he listens to my concerns. One of the odd things, however, that has me a bit concerned is that I’ve started developing a lot more cavities since I started seeing him. I asked if there is anything I’ve been doing wrong and when my habits seemed okay, he asked if I’d been experiencing dry mouth. I had. Then, we looked at my medications and it seems my new blood pressure medicine has dry mouth as a side effect. Could just having a dry mouth really make that much of a difference?
I am glad you wrote and that your Holistic Dentist has been so thorough in trying to evaluate the problem you are facing. He is right, dry mouth can absolutely be the cause of the problem here.
Saliva Is a Huge Defense Against Tooth Decay
Your body is so wonderfully designed and that includes the saliva in your mouth. Here are just some of the benefits it brings to you.
- Assists in the breakdown of food and aids in swallowing
- Protects and facilitates the healing of the thin tissues within the mouth
- Washes away any food debris, keeping it from sitting directly against the enamel for extended periods of time
- Neutralizes acids
- Contains antimicrobial content that keeps harmful bacteria at bay
All of those benefits add up to fighting cavities. Without that saliva, you are starting at a major disadvantage.
Let’s go on the assumption the medicine you are taking is life saving and you cannot discontinue it. Here are some things you may find helpful. First, rinse out your mouth and then brush after each meal. Make doubly sure that you are flossing each day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and sip on it throughout the day. Try to avoid caffeine if at all possible, as it acts as a diuretic. There are also over-the-counter saliva substitutes that will help as well. Just make sure they contain some of these active ingredients: Carboxymethylcellulose, Hydroxyethylcellulose, or Xylitol.
You can beat this but will have to be more proactive. It is great that you already had wonderful oral health habits to begin with.
This blog is brought to you by Parma Dentist Dr. Gecovich.