Saliva and the benefit it provides is something we often take for granted. However, when production of your saliva is less than adequate it can present a number of genuine difficulties and health concerns. Did you know the bulk of saliva is derived from three pairs of glands in the mouth; the parotid, the sub-lingual and sub-mandibular. These glands produce approximately three quarters of a teaspoon every minute during mastication, common known as chewing, and provide lubrication to your mouth and throat to aid in chewing and swallowing. Saliva also acts as a protective layer on natural dentition, bathing the teeth with minerals to help prevent cavities. The enzymes in saliva work to limit bacterial, viral and fungal growth, which if left unchecked can lead to infections and tooth decay.
One of the notable side effects of dry mouth can be bad breathe, as bacteria normally held in check begins to flourish. Dry mouth provides a more optimum environment for candida overgrowth making denture wearers with this affliction more prone to oral thrush. Saliva also provides critical moisture throughout the oral cavity that allows us to speak clearly; imagine trying to whistle with a completely dry mouth. For denture wearers there is an important function of providing lubrication between the denture and oral tissue; this reduces friction that otherwise may cause irritation. Patients with dry mouths also have a much more difficult time with denture retention, as the deficiency in moisture creates fewer capillaries to hold and seal the denture into place. Think how poorly a dry suction cup sticks to a window as opposed to moistening it before application.
What causes loss in saliva? The most common reason we see in our clinic is medications. Many prescription drugs such as anti-depressants, pain relievers, blood pressure, asthma, sinus and allergy medications can contribute to or cause dry mouth. Use of oxygen or patients who are undergoing radiation therapies can also experience greater problems with dry mouth. There are also a number of diseases that can inhibit the production of adequate saliva; diabetes, scleroderma and others can contribute to this problem.
Some of the symptoms for dry mouth or lack of saliva would be as follows:
There are many products available today to help combat dry mouth problems. Our go to in the office is the product Moi-Stir by Pharam Science. Our lovely Shayna was kind enough to a pose with the product above as well.
Some of the reasons we choose Moi-Stir by Pharam Science are as follows:
Currently there has been some difficulty with our patients being able to purchase this product. Interim they have been purchasing Biotene Dry Mouth Moisturizing Spray that we have had some positive feedback for over the past few weeks. Please ensure you are purchasing dry mouth SPRAY, not the oral rinse or gel as we have had complaints with the latter versions of the product as well they tend to be quite messy.
If you suspect you may be suffering dry mouth resulting in denture concerns call us today 250 -756 -1616 to schedule a time with Barry as he will want to help you find relief and provide you some options for therapy.
I hope you found this information helpful! If there is something you'd like to learn about through our blog please feel free to call the office 250 - 756 -1616 and ask for Laura.