Oral dryness is caused due to lack of saliva. The changes can be gradual. Often times people do not realize the lack of quantity in the early stages. They may report dental decay or taste problems or simply drink more water. While it may be less noticeable in the early stages, the changes may progress to more devastating oral complications such as tooth decay, oral fungal infections, bad taste, bad breath, fissured tongue, etc.
Saliva is secreted by major salivary glands that are found in the orofacial region. They are parotid glands that are on either side of the cheek just in front of the jaw joint and ears. The other pairs are below the tongue and are settles in the lower jaw area. There thousands of minor salivary glands that coat the mouth. Damages to the salivary glands leading to poor saliva secretion thus leading to oral dryness.
Saliva testing helps diagnose and prevent damage to teeth, gums, and tissues. Saliva testing for quantity by measuring the whole saliva or testing the saliva quality helps explain the impact of salivary tissue damage. Further, a biopsy of the minor salivary glands may help assess the level of damage to an autoimmune connection.
Autoimmune conditions sometimes cause dry mouth and they may be the only or one of the few vague symptoms that may be presented. In other words, a systematic workup may help to identify the underlying condition.
We can evaluate and check your saliva. If you have oral dryness, early identification may help in the prevention of cavities. A workup may help to rule out any possible autoimmune disease such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, etc.,