When we think of certain oral health issues, we can’t help but think of patients in certain age groups. For example, losing teeth is very common in elementary-aged children. Wearing braces is common with tweens and teens, and periodontal diseases and dry mouth are usually issues that occur in older adults. But now, a new study has found that a growing segment of the younger population is experiencing dry mouth and periodontal disease, and the cause may surprise you!
With millions of adults and young adults taking prescription medications such as antidepressants, we are facing a bit of an oral health epidemic. Unfortunately, while these medications may be extremely helpful in addressing mental health issues, they can often have side effects such as dry mouth, which can damage oral health.
A dry mouth may not seem serious, but our mouths need saliva to help wash away plaque, bacteria, and bits of food. When we are low on saliva, these items stick to the teeth along the gum line, causing buildup, cavities, and even gum disease.
This is why if you do take medication of any kind, it’s important that you pay extra attention to your body and look out for side effects that could be dangerous to your health.
If you do notice that your mouth feels dry, and staying hydrated is not enough to moisturize your mouth, there are solutions both over the counter and via prescription that can help. To start, check your local store for moisturizing toothpaste and mouthwash, but let Dr. Mingus know that you are experiencing dry mouth in case he wants you to come in for a check-up.
If over-the-counter products do not work well enough, Dr. Mingus can prescribe stronger moisturizing products. It is also a great idea to stay on top of your dental exams, to make sure that the lack of moisture in your mouth is not causing more problems than you are aware of.
Remember, dry mouth isn’t simply a problem you’re stuck with. If you are experiencing dry mouth, speak to Dr. Mingus about your options for mouth moisturizing products.