Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth. Saliva is your body’s natural way to rinse bacteria away from your mouth, and xerostomia is the condition where very little saliva is produced. Many different causes can be the source of dry mouth, such as hormonal changes, advanced age, autoimmune diseases, certain medications, chemotherapy, and lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, or large amounts of caffeine). Because dry mouth limits the amount of saliva in your mouth, it causes your mouth not to be able to rinse away excess bacteria. An overpopulation in your mouth can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Dry mouth can also create an inhospitable environment for a dental implant.
While dental implants and the restorative prosthetic that they support, such as a crown or dentures, themselves are not susceptible to tooth decay, the gums that support implants can face problems. The same bacteria that thrive in a dry mouth can lead to a rare complication known as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is a condition when the tissue surrounding your dental implant becomes infected and inflamed. It can cause the loss of both the dental implant and the restoration. For more information on Dental Implants Austin TX, please contact our dental office.
The first step to any treatment is to first pinpoint the cause. With dry mouth, there can be several reasons for you and your dentist to discuss. If it caused by lifestyle changes, you may find that cutting back on sugar, caffeine, or alcohol may help. Quitting smoking is good for your health and can stop your dry mouth. If it is caused by a medication, you may talk to your doctor or dentist about certain supplements or rinses that may help. Humidifiers in your home can help. Chewing on sugar-free gum, sucking on ice chips, or sipping on the water can all be ways to induce saliva and keep your mouth rinsing away bacteria.
Treat dry mouth before it causes complications. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.