Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is both uncomfortable and unhealthy. People undergoing Invisalign or traditional orthodontic treatment may be especially sensitive to anything that makes their mouths less lubricated, so we at Dr. Cynthia Wong’s Orland Park orthodontic office want our patients to understand when they’re at risk and how to avoid it.
Saliva is produced by glands in the mouth and helps to keep it disease-free. Besides washing away food debris, saliva also helps the immune system by maintaining the mouth’s pH level. If the saliva glands are swollen, as can result from an autoimmune disease such as Sjögren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis, the patient will be at a higher risk for xerostomia and gingivitis.
Dry mouth can also be the result of something the patient consumes. Medications for ADHD and mood disorders are likely culprits, as are alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Orthodontic patients may need to ask about switching medications that are imperiling their oral treatment. They may also try over the counter throat moisturizers or oral rinses that can be obtained with a prescription.