While substandard dental hygiene is the most prevalent cause of halitosis, many circumstances can contribute to or intensify the condition. One of these is the lack of saliva or xerostomia.
Saliva and Oral Health
Saliva moistens the teeth and gums and gets rid of 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 protecting the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This safeguards against dental caries and infections.
Many people experience dry mouth occasionally; 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 periodic periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can cause additional oral and physical health problems.
I am Dr. Hecht of Staten Island Dental Care – Dr. Frederick Hecht. I have been treating xerostomia and bad breath since 1976. If you experience either condition, I invite you to set up an exam and consultation. If you struggle with bad breath regardless of vigilant oral health, let me help you discover the source.
With help from my comfortable team of dental professionals, I provide the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services including porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and porcelain crowns.
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