Many residents in our Yuma community experience dry mouth occasionally. Some develop dry mouth in social situations or when they are under a lot of stress. Sporadic or infrequent dry mouth is usually not a serious issue. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, is not only irritating, it can lead to severe health problems.
Yuma people should not take their saliva for granted. Your saliva plays an important role in maintaining your health. One of its roles is to help digest your food. The moment food enters your mouth, saliva starts breaking it down so your body can metabolize it. If you don’t produce enough saliva to perform this task your body may not be getting important nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This helps prevent tooth decay and infections. Many Yuma residents don’t realize that many of the foods we eat are very acidic and our saliva helps counteract those acids in our mouths.
I am Frank Hulme and my staff and I at The Yuma Dentist have been treating xerostomia since 2012. I recommend cutting back on caffeine in such drinks as cola, coffee, and tea. Not only do these beverages stain and discolor your teeth, the caffeine can contribute to dry mouth. I also recommend drinking water throughout the day to make sure you are adequately hydrated.
Tobacco and alcohol can also contribute to dry mouth. Consult your Somerton physician if you are taking medication that is causing your dry mouth.