Dry Mouth

dry mouthDry mouth may not seem like a major health concern, but it can lead to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, having a dry mouth can make eating and speaking uncomfortable. If you suffer from dry mouth, you should know that your dentist can help you with this.

Saliva is important to your oral health because it defends against gum disease and tooth decay, helps with digestion, reduces bacteria, and helps keep teeth strong with minerals and enzymes. If your body isn’t producing enough saliva, you will have a dry mouth. You may feel dryness in your throat as well. You may have mouth sores, bad breath, dry lips and a rough tongue.

There are some things that you can do to help with the symptoms of dry mouth. Sipping on water or chewing sugarless gum can help to produce more saliva and hydrate your mouth. Reducing your caffeine intake will also help with dry mouth. You can also try sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom to create a more hydrating environment. Above all, don’t be afraid to talk with your dentist if you are experiencing symptoms. They will be able to recommend the best treatment for you and your oral health.

Dry Mouth Treatments|Dr. Maryim Adibfar

Salivary Mucins: True Teeth Protectors

salivary mucinsOur saliva provides a unique function for our bodies. It protects our teeth. We may not have even realized how important these salivary mucins are for us. Lack of saliva produces difficulty in speech and a condition called dry mouth. Low production of saliva has serious consequences like oral ulcers and tooth decay. For those who wear dentures, the presence of optimum quantity and quality of saliva is essential. To understand the degree of severity we need to get a deeper understanding of the ways saliva works within our mouth.

  • Saliva is a clear, slightly sticky liquid and contains mostly water with a small percentage of mucins. Mucins are large glycoproteins that are responsible to give a slippery feel to saliva due to its gel like features. Recent studies have shown that these mucins protect the teeth from Streptococcus mutans (organisms known to cause tooth decay).
  • These mucins carry out their function of inhibiting the action of S. mutans in a different way. They neither kill the bacteria nor reduce the level of the bacteria. Mucins keep the bacteria suspension so that the bacteria are unable to form a biofilm on the teeth. S. mutans can function only through a biofilm as a biofilm helps the bacteria to be in constant touch with the teeth and digest tooth structure.
  • Biofilm is the term used to describe the slimy layer on the teeth that is composed of plenty of bacteria and the layer remains stuck onto the teeth surface through sticky substances secreted by the bacteria themselves. Once the bacteria are able to establish themselves on the teeth in the form of a biofilm they feed on leftover food particles and release acids in return. These acids demineralise the tooth structure and lead to cavities finally.
  • A report says that it is always ideal to enhance the immune response of the body rather than going for external applications of sealants or fluorides.
  • It has been found out that diseases like asthama, cystic fibrosis or ulcerative colitis have a strong link with problems related to mucin production. This is because mucins play a very critical role in the maintenance of healthy oral microbiota.

With all the above mentioned findings, it has been clear that salivary mucins are not simply particles that provide the gel-like consistency to saliva. They have the potential to influence the behavior of oral microbes.

Saliva Test Helps Reveal Disease Early

saliva test

Simple saliva test can find diseases early.

An interesting study from UCLA discusses how a simple saliva test may be capable of diagnosing diabetes, cancer and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases at an early stage.

The study uncovers that saliva contains much of the same molecules that reveal disease as is contained in blood.  Unusual RNA molecules (known as cellular messengers that carry DNA instructions to other parts of the cell) have been found in the mouth and in cells.

The study is quite complex but very intresting.  To read the full article from Medical News Today and learn more about this study, click here: Simple saliva test may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them – Medical News Today.

Saliva Can Serve As Indicator For Diabetes In Children

An interesting study from Forsyth Institute has suggested that an evaluation of saliva in children could be an indicator for diabetes. Scientists hope that the results of the study will contribute to the development of noninvasive screening tools for early diagnosis and prevention of diabetes and other systemic diseases.

In the study, s13611576-playing-in-the-parkcientists evaluated saliva samples from 744 Kuwaiti 10 to 12 year olds who where underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.  In obese children, the insulin and leptin levels in the saliva were almost three times higher then in normal weight children.

To find more information about this interesting study, click here: Study finds saliva could serve as diabetes indicator in children | Dental Tribune International.