What Happens When Saliva Stops Protecting Your Teeth?
Saliva helps protect your teeth from acid attack by neutralising the acids that are produced by the bacterial plaque after we eat or drink. Saliva provides a protective barrier against sensitivity, erosion and decay. If your body fails to produce enough saliva, or if it is poor quality the saliva may be unable to neutralise the acids in your mouth resulting in severe dental problems if left unchecked.
How Do I Know If My Saliva Is Healthy Or Not?
Tooth problems such as sensitivity and decay don’t happen overnight. Provided they are addressed early, problems can usually be corrected before damage occurs. Your hygienist can perform a simple saliva test that will identify in just a few minutes if you are at risk of dental problems. Think of it as a routine check, similar to the blood pressure test performed when visiting a medical doctor.
Below Are Listed Some Of The Factors That May Contribute To Unhealthy Saliva?
- Intake of alcohol
- Intake of caffeine
- Intake of nicotine
- Acidic foods and drinks
- Number of meals and snacks per day
- Your occupation
- Dehydration/lack of water consumption
- Recreational habits – sports/sports drinks
- Medication and general health
- Hormone imbalance
- Strenuous physical activities
What are some of the tell tale signs?
- Dry mouth during sleeping
- Dry mouth during the day
- Lack of lubrication during eating, talking or swallowing
- Saliva that feels stringy during swallowing
- The taste of food has changed
- Bad breath
What Do You Do If The Test Is Positive And You Are At Risk?
Our experienced dentists and hygienists will discuss with you a treatment plan on how to manage your saliva. Success however will be dependent on how committed you are. The plan may require a change of diet, lifestyle or tooth cleaning habit. Protective applications of tooth mousse or fluoride may be needed for “at risk” tooth surfaces. Sometimes restorative work may be required.
This new methodology is part of a modern approach known as minimum intervention that specifically focuses on identifying potential dental measures to avoid permanent tooth damage. When your saliva is unhealthy Dr McGregor and Dr Rushton with their team of hygienists will work in partnership with you to help maintain a healthy mouth.