In this post from David Rice DDS in Elgin, we address the unpleasant topic of halitosis, also known as bad breath.
While poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many factors can contribute to it, or even make it worse. One of these is the lack of saliva, or xerostomia.
Saliva and Oral Health
One of the functions of saliva is moistening the teeth and gums and removing odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks and the minerals in saliva help to maintain enamel stability.
Immunoproteins in saliva curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby shielding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This protects against cavities and infections.
Most of us have a dry mouth now and then, like when we’re anxious or under stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
If you have occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can result in additional oral and physical health problems.
If you are coping with either condition, be sure to tell us at David Rice DDS in Elgin. We’ve helped patients throughout Bartlet, South Elgin, and Wayne discover the source and guide them on treatment. Our services include restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!