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Dry Mouth Impacts Your Health

Top 3 Ways Dry Mouth Can Impact Your Health

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If you’ve been suffering from dry mouth for any length of time, you may have reached a point where you’re better able to manage your symptoms and don’t mind it as much. However, dry mouth can do more damage to your health than the everyday symptoms when allowed to continue unchecked. Once you know the three ways dry mouth can impact your health, you may be able to develop better strategies for controlling the condition.

Bad Breath

While bad breath on its own may not be enough to seriously impact your health, it can make you think twice about accepting invitations to socialize with friends and family. Not only can social isolation take a major toll on your mental wellbeing, the stress and anxiety isolation brings could impact your physical health.

Since the lack of saliva in your mouth can allow excess bacteria to grow – which is what causes bad breath – you can fight back by switching to dry mouth oral care products and chewing sugar-free gum between brushings. Sipping pure water throughout the day is always a good way to maintain hydration levels, however, drinking too much water at one time could wash away what little saliva you do have in your mouth.

Dental Issues

Perhaps the single biggest health concern associated with chronic dry mouth is the potential for tooth decay. Saliva performs a number of roles in your mouth, including:

  • Controlling bacteria
  • Fighting acid produced by plaque
  • Moving food particles away from the teeth and gums
  • Re-mineralizing teeth

Without adequate saliva in your mouth, the enzymes necessary to keep acid and bacteria in check simply aren’t available. When acid, bacteria and sugary food particles are allowed to spend hours up against your teeth and gums, your tooth enamel isn’t able to fight everything off on its own. This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Since gum disease has been linked with poor heart health, it’s critical that people with chronic dry mouth pay extra special attention to their oral hygiene. In addition to regularly brushing and flossing as usual, many people with dry mouth find that brushing after every meal is critical to removing plaque and bacteria before it can get a foothold on their teeth.


For someone with severe chronic dry mouth, the risk of malnutrition can come in two distinct ways. The first is that it’s very difficult to chew and swallow even relatively moist food, which may encourage the sufferer to eat less overall. For denture wearers who have dry mouth, the problem is compounded by the fact that it can be difficult to get dentures to adhere to dry oral tissue. When dentures fit improperly and hurt to wear, it can make eating a painful experience, even when swallowing isn’t the issue.

If your dry mouth symptoms are impacting your ability to eat or drink, be sure to speak with your doctor and dentist so that they can help you come up with a plan to get the nutrition you need and better manage your dry mouth symptoms.

This article is not intended as medical advice. Be sure to consult your dentist or doctor before making health decisions.

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