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Blog 3 Tooth Decay

Could A Dry Mouth Increase the Risk of Tooth Decay?

Most people these days know about the most common and well-known factors that cause dental decay. These include;

  • consuming overly sugary soft drinks and ‘treats’,
  • too much sugar intake generally,
  • alcohol consumption,
  • maintaining good oral hygiene habits (regular brushing and flossing),
  • mouth breathing during sleeping,
  • high salt diets and
  • how regularly they visit the dentist for routine hygiene appointments.
  • Recent studies also show a link between excessive caffeine consumption, which can reduce saliva and dry mouth, which in time could increase the risk of caries (cavities).

Are you Doing All the Right Things and Still Having Tooth Decay Problems?

However, recent research has indicated that these factors alone were not the only significant risk factors that affected tooth decay. Most patients in the sample group were otherwise healthy people with a well-adjusted occupation, maintained good oral hygiene habits and regularly visited their dentists. However, after months of research and observations, it was observed that most of these patients had started to go to the gym sometime in the past three years and at least three times a week. Most of these patients had some common factors:

  • None to one cup of coffee or tea a day
  • Healthy diets
  • Low acidity diets
  • No soft drinks
  • Little alcohol or sweet consumption

Further analysis of the research found that a high percentage of them agreed they had a dry mouth at night-time and in some cases during the day as well, increasing the chances to develop caries.

The Importance of Hydration

Many times, people confuse hungriness for thirstiness, particularly before going to bed. However, it is crucial to remain well-hydrated, especially if you had an afternoon or evening gym session. Also, switching to a lower salt diet further increases water retention and promotes a dry mouth. As such, cavities can be proactively prevented by simply drinking more water and regular visits to the dentist.

Also, and somewhat counter-intuitively, brushing your teeth immediately after consuming high-sugar soft drinks or highly acidic food may accelerate the rate of tooth decay and enamel erosion. Simply drinking a glass of water immediately after consuming these foods or drink helped to neutralise their harmful effects, and then continue to brush and floss regularly.

I hope you find this article helpful. And if you have any questions or would like to be assessed for your current oral health condition, do not hesitate to call us on (08) 271 9771 to speak to one of our team.

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