Dry mouth might seem more like a nagging annoyance than a symptom of a more serious health issue. But your body puts saliva in your mouth for a reason.
“The bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease thrive in a dry environment,” says Matt Messina, D.D.S., a Cleveland-based dentist.
While cavities stink, gum disease is your bigger concern. And some research suggests the systemic inflammation that results from periodontal disease may raise your risks for heart disease and stroke.
If that weren’t bad enough, your saliva is alkaline, and so helps keep the acids in the foods you eat from corroding your teeth, Dr. Messina says.
A sore throat, problems speaking or swallowing, and a burning sensation in your mouth are also unpleasant or painful symptoms of dry mouth, according to the ADA.
For all these reasons, dry mouth is a pernicious condition that can lead to a lot