While poor oral hygiene is the most frequent cause of halitosis, at Russell Anderson Jr. Dentistry in Kennesaw we have learned that many conditions can contribute to or exacerbate the condition. One of these is the lack of saliva or xerostomia.
Saliva and Oral Health
Saliva moistens the teeth and gums and eliminates 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 curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby preserving the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This safeguards against tooth decay and infections.
Many individuals experience 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 periodic periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can cause additional oral and physical health problems.
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