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Food particles and bacteria on your teeth and gumline can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing can address these problems, and your body has its own solution: saliva. The saliva in your mouth washes away the acids and food debris that can contribute to plaque, tartar and tooth decay; and saliva also contains minerals that strengthen your tooth enamel.

However, some people are unable to create the necessary amount of saliva to maintain a healthy mouth. This is a condition known as dry mouth. Chronic dry mouth increases your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Tobacco and alcohol use, and certain medications and conditions may contribute to the problem.

Your dentist may be able to prescribe a medication or artificial saliva to remedy the problem. Or, he may consult with your physician about your medications or other conditions that could be causing dry mouth. Your dentist may also suggest using sugarless gum or hard candy; or drinking more water

If you live in the Columbia, Maryland, area and you have been experiencing dry mouth problems, you should call 410.381.0505 to set up an appointment with Dr. Avi Mizrachi at Columbia Dental Excellence.