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Do Children's Mouths Suffer Dry Mouth The Same As Adults?

Posted on 9/21/2020 by Rho Family Dentistry
If not properly hydrated anyone can get dry mouth, including children. Dry mouth is not only bothersome or even uncomfortable, it can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which is 99% water. If there is not enough water in the body, saliva is not produced, therefore resulting in dry mouth.

Dry Mouth in Children

Dry mouth (xerostomia) can be more than a nuisance. In children especially, it can have a tremendous impact on oral health, affecting the teeth and the gums. There are several potential causes of dry mouth in children other than dehydration. These include mouth breathing, certain medications, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and nutritional deficiencies. Symptoms of dry mouth are bad breath, oral thrush, increased thirst, difficulty speaking, a sore mouth, and an altered sense of taste.

This condition can threaten a child's oral health with an increased risk of tooth decay. Saliva not only strengthens teeth, it helps to flush away food particles and residue. This function prevents bacteria and acids from eroding tooth enamel by feeding on existing residue. In essence, saliva is like a natural mouthwash and not having enough of it makes children more vulnerable to cavities, gum disease, and higher levels of plaque.

Treating Dry Mouth

The most basic of dry mouth remedies is also the most effective: make sure your child drinks plenty of water. Hydration creates saliva, saliva prevents and treats dry mouth. Water is also great for overall health, plus it has no salt, sugar, or caffeine. Speaking of sugar and caffeine, these can contribute to dry mouth and overall dehydration. Sugar has its own set of problems when it comes to oral health, especially for young teeth and gums.

Good oral hygiene in itself is a remedy and prevention of dry mouth. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria and particles while massaging the gums. There are toothpaste and rinses designed to treat dry mouth so your child can clean and treat their mouth at the same time. Look for SLS-free items for effective results and longer relief from this unpleasant condition. If you want more ideas, give our office a call today.

Jeffrey J. Rho, DDS

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2525 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95816-5114

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