While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath, many factors can contribute to or intensify the condition. One of these is the lack of saliva or xerostomia, which we discuss in this post from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna.
Saliva and Oral Health
Saliva moistens the teeth and gums and helps clean away 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 durability. Immunoproteins in saliva suppress the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby safeguarding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This guards against tooth decay and infections.
Many people suffer from dry mouth once in a while; perhaps when they are feeling anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
If you have sporadic periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can bring about additional oral and physical health problems.
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