Periodontal Disease and Dry Mouth

At Dr. Trujillo’s office, we encounter many cases of periodontal disease linked to a patient’s dry mouth or xerostomia. Although dry mouth alone is not a cause of gum disease, its effects can play a major role in the development of gingivitis, an early stage of the disease.  

What role does dry mouth play in the onset of periodontal disease?

Saliva is the body’s natural “mouth rinse” that washes away food and bacteria from the teeth. Without it, bacteria are better able to remain on the teeth and gums, where they cause decay and inflammation. When a patient suffers from dry mouth, their salivary glands are unable to produce enough saliva to keep their mouth moist and their teeth clean. When this happens, gingivitis develops more easily and may worsen into periodontitis.

How do I reduce my risk of dry mouth and periodontal disease?

Dry mouth can result from a number of causes including the use of prescription drugs, dehydration, nerve damage, medical conditions, smoking, consumption of sugary foods, and more. If you suffer from dry mouth it is important to talk to Dr. Trujillo or your primary care physician about habits that you may need to change as well as further treatment options.

How do I treat my symptoms and gum disease?

Treating dry mouth can be a fairly easy process with immeasurable benefits. Simply limiting sugar and caffeine intake, sleeping with a humidifier, or quitting the use of tobacco may cure the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent the onset of gum disease. If your dry mouth persists, pay extra attention to your daily oral hygiene. In addition, you should talk to Dr. Trujillo, your Phoenix periodontist, about the possible causes of your dry mouth and how to prevent secondary problems like periodontal disease.

If you are already seeing signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, including sore, bleeding, or receding gums, it is even more important to see Dr. Trujillo as soon as possible. Finding the disease early can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money so if you are experiencing bad breath, jaw pain, swollen gums, loose teeth, sensitivity, or bleeding gums, contact our office today.

Man in a dental chair smiling at the periodontist

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