Tooth DecayOne of the greatest protectors against cavities is saliva. The reason for this, is saliva helps to neutralize the acids in our mouths. Our salivary glands are located in our cheeks and under our tongues. These glands make two different kinds of saliva: serous and mucoid. Serous saliva is the more wet and watery of your saliva and your mucoid saliva is thick and sticky. Our serous saliva is the important one when considering cavities and oral health.
Unfortunately, as we age, fatty tissue is stored in our serous salivary glands. This means that the area of our mouth that used to create saliva is now being replaced with fat. As a result of this, we start to suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia). Dry mouth means that we are not producing enough saliva, and we have more acids in our mouth than bases. As a result of this imbalance, we start to develop more cavities.
There are other things that can also cause dry mouth for us as we age. These things include side effects to medication and radiation treatment. Many common medications that we use when age are to treat hypertension, heart problems, arthritis, and others. Unfortunately, a side effect of many of these medications is diminished salivary gland production. Additionally, radiation treatment decreases cell multiplication including the cells that make up your salivary glands.
As we grow old, our body goes through many changes that impact our health. Because of this, Dr. Landry in Seville, OH suggests that you continue to see your dentist at least twice per year. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Landry please call us at 330-769-4470 or use our online form.