While substandard oral hygiene is the most prevalent cause of halitosis, many circumstances 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 removes 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 inhibit 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 cavities and infections.
Many men and women experience dry mouth infrequently; perhaps when they are experiencing 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. Gustafson of Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry. I have been treating xerostomia and bad breath since 1984. If you suffer from either condition, I invite you to schedule an exam and consultation. If you struggle with bad breath regardless of observant oral hygiene, let me help you discover the source.
With help from my friendly team of dental professionals, I provide the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services including cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and dentures.