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Do Dry Lips Harm Your Oral Health?

Posted on 8/25/2018 by Dr. Chapko
Do Dry Lips Harm Your Oral Health?Dry lips is an annoying condition that can be caused by a number of problems, from an infection (yeast) to temperature changes (cold weather), allergic reaction, dehydration, side effects of medication, and so on.

However, could dry lips be a sign of outlying oral health issues? One of the most common causes of dry lips is dry mouth – lack of enough saliva in the mouth – which is more serious than just normal dehydration.

Dry mouth can cause a number of dental health problems.

A Build-Up of Germs and Bacteria

Dry mouth is characterized by a low production of saliva. Since the saliva is useful in washing away food particles stuck in the mouth as well as plaque, low saliva levels cause a build-up of germs and oral bacteria.

Tooth Decay and Bad Breath

The increase in the level of oral bacteria, plus the build-up of food particles in your mouth, cause the production of acids. These acids wear down the enamel of your teeth, causing tooth decay. During the production of the acids by the oral bacteria, a strong odor is released, which causes you to have bad breath.

Swollen Tongue and Gums

Saliva also helps to keep the mouth tissues moist and soft. Dry mouth condition, thus leads to these tissues becoming "dry" and tough, which can easily cause inflammation of the tongue and the gums.

So, How Can You Prevent Dry Lips?

•  Drink lots of water. Drinking water will help to keep your mouth hydrated and prevent dry mouth condition.
•  Snacking on Fruits and Vegetables. Snacking on fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, celery, leafy greens, and nuts helps to stimulate the production of saliva. Some of these food items also cleanse your mouth, in addition to hydrating it and providing nutrients that are beneficial to your oral health.
•  Chewing Sugarless Gum. Chewing on sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free sweets will help to stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth, without having an adverse effect on your oral health.
•  Avoiding foods that cause low saliva levels. Consuming foods with a high salt content, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes lowers the amount of saliva in your mouth. Therefore, it is best to avoid these substances if you suffer from dry mouth condition.

Having a dry mouth and dry lips is not a fun experience. However, it is possible to treat the conditions.

Call us today for more information on these dental health problems.
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