Dry mouth in elderly people

epping dentist

Your Epping Dentist would like you to check in with how moist or dry the inside of your mouth seems to be. Perhaps it feels as moist as usual – and that is good. However, it might feel drier than it used to be, that it doesn’t seem to be producing as much saliva as it used to. You might not worry about this, as too much saliva used to be a bit of a problem.

Having plenty of saliva in our mouths is very important. It does more than just lubricate the inside of the mouth – it performs several vital functions for us!

Our digestive process starts inside our mouth. Chewing our food not only grinds down the food into tiny pieces but also mixes those bits with saliva into a mush. Enzymes in the saliva are vital for starting the digestive process. And you certainly want to digest your food as well as possible to maximise your benefit from it!

Saliva is also vital to the health of our teeth themselves. It contains substances that kill the bacteria in our mouths and is thus our first line of defence against tooth decay and tooth wear.

Saliva also assists swallowing. And you certainly want your food and drink to slip down your throat easily when you try to swallow it.

Saliva in our mouth makes it easier to speak. Have you ever noticed, for instance, how difficult it is to speak when your mouth is dry? It’s very uncomfortable because the speaking parts seem to get stuck instead of sliding easily.

Sometimes, having a dry mouth is just the result of needing a good drink of water. So, if your mouth seems dry, try that first – have a good drink of water from your tap (fluoridised hopefully) and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, do come and see your Epping Dentist, particularly if you take antidepressants or antipsychotics or medicines for urinary incontinence. Some of these medicines decrease saliva production. However, there are alternatives to some of them and different methods of taking them can be used to counter that reduction.

The benefits of plentiful saliva in our mouths make it well worth investigating this. That way, you can experience the benefits of both plentiful saliva and your medicines at the same time. We at your Epping Dentist will be delighted to help you solve this problem if you have it.

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