While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, it is far from the only one. The dentists at Durham Dental Group can assure you, many circumstances can contribute to or worsen 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 stability. Immunoproteins in saliva inhibit the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby shielding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This protects against cavities and infections.
Many people are plagued with occasional dry mouth, such as when they are feeling anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
If you have only occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can bring about additional oral and physical health troubles.
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