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Saliva is not one of those things most people like to talk about. Even though the subject is a little distasteful, saliva has several important jobs to do. Saliva has enzymes that help break down your food for digestion. In terms of your teeth, your saliva washes away the leftover food debris that is in your mouth after you eat. It can also combat the acids and bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Not only that, it contains minerals that actually repair decay on a microscopic level.

While everyone has experienced “dry mouth” in a moment of fear or panic, chronic dry mouth is medical condition that needs treatment. When your mouth dries out, not only will food and bacteria linger there, but the tissue in your mouth can dry out, leading to tooth decay and other problems.

Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, diseases, and radiation and chemotherapy. Smoking will dry out your mouth; and dry mouth can be the result of hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Whatever the cause, dry mouth needs to be treated. You dentist may prescribe a mouthwash or artificial saliva, and sugarless gum and sugarless hard candy can aid in the production of saliva. Drinking more water is a simple, but effective way to address dry mouth. You should talk to your dentist about your medical conditions and prescriptions. Your dentist may want to speak with your doctor about how your that condition or medication is affecting your oral health.

If you are experiencing a dry, sticky or burning feeling in your mouth; trouble swallowing, sores in your mouth, or cracked lips, you may have a case of dry mouth. You can speak with our dentist, Dr. Robert Renner about your symptoms and treatment options. If you live in the York, South Carolina area, you can make an appointment at York Dental Group by calling 803-684-2366. Whether you are having a dental problem, it is time for your regular cleaning and exam, or if you are just looking for a family dentist, we look forward to meeting you!