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How does dry mouth cause gingivitis?

If you think of the inside of your mouth like a car wash,without saliva, there isn't any water to keep the cars (your teeth!) clean. This dry mouth situation lets the plaque and food stick to the tooth surface. As the buildup continues it can lead to cavities on the teeth and inflammation and infections of the gum tissues.
Many medications, such as steroids, anti-seizure drugs, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure pills and birth control pills, can affect the gums and increase your risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. Many medications also have side effects that reduce saliva, which can result in dry mouth and irritate soft tissues. Tell your dentist about all your medications and any changes that occur in your health.
Without enough saliva in your mouth, you cannot wash away food and neutralize any acid that has formed on the surfaces of teeth. That makes you more prone to tooth decay and gingivitis. To help, your dentist may recommend oral rinses, sugarless gums, or artificial saliva to restore moisture to your mouth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.