Dentist near me in Garland answers, 'Can dentures cause dry mouth?'By Dr. Vidya Suri
Can Dentures Cause Dry Mouth?You may recall a parent or grandparent complaining about his or her dentures, and for good reason! These false teeth were frequently associated with a fake appearance, and slipping that led to discomfort or embarrassment when chewing or speaking. Ill-fitting dentures are also associated with a bunch of problems, including irritation to delicate tissues and mouth sores. All these complaints are valid, and yesterday's dentures or poorly-fitting dental appliances can be to blame. But, when it comes to the issue of dry mouth, dentures aren't at the root of the problem. Dentures can be to blame for making existing dry mouth worse, and dentures in a dry environment can lead to many complications that take away from the fundamental beauty, comfort, and ease of your new teeth.
The true cause of dry mouthKnown as xerostomia, dry mouth arises when glands that produce saliva don't make enough of this natural cleanser to retain a healthy, moist environment. In fact, dry mouth may have been at least partly to blame for you needing dentures in the first place! Saliva neutralizes acids, prevents harmful bacteria from flourishing, and helps to wash away food debris. All these functions make saliva one of the best defenses against tooth decay. For this reason, patients who suffer from dry mouth are at increased risk of developing tartar, cavities, and gum disease. Patients with dry mouth also tend to develop:
- Mouth sores
- Cracked lips
- Bad breath
- Impaired taste, chewing, swallowing, and speech
Medications are often responsible for dry mouth that arises as you get older and your health evolves. In fact, there are hundreds of drugs that list dry mouth as a side effect. These include common prescriptions to treat high blood pressure or to manage pain. Health conditions themselves may give rise to dry mouth. Snoring and sleep apnea, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases like lupus are among those conditions that can affect salivary flow.
Dry mouth and denture-wearersIf you rely on natural suction or products to help keep your dentures in place, dry mouth can make this retention a challenge. Since saliva is the first line of defense against bacteria, denture-wearers with dry mouth are also at heightened risk of contamination by these harmful invaders. Sometimes, oral infections aren't apparent to patients until after they've progressed and manifest as painful or obvious sores.
These risks underscore the importance of addressing dry mouth. Dr. Suri may recommend any number of rinses or lubricants to add moisture to your mouth. Mouthwashes designed for dry mouth also offer added protection against decay. Severe xerostomia may warrant prescription drugs that encourage saliva production. From sucking on sugar-free hard candies to adding moisture to the air with a room humidifier, several lifestyle factors also support saliva flow and oral health to keep decay at bay.
- Rinse off loose foods and debris before brushing.
- For the long life of your denture, use soft brushes and nonabrasive cleansers.
- It's never been more important to clean your entire mouth thoroughly, and that means gums, the inside of your cheeks, tongue, and palate – any areas that can harbor destructive bacteria.
- Always store dentures in a moist environment, covered in water or a mild soaking solution. Avoid hot water that may warp dentures.
Every patient is royalty at Kings Dental. Dr. Suri and her team welcome any other questions you may have. If it's been a while since you've seen us or if you're concerned about changes to how your denture fits, don't hesitate to call (214) 703-6900 to schedule an appointment.
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