Salivary glands produce up to a quart of saliva each day. When the output from these glands is hindered by infection or blockage, our mouth loses moisture, which is essential to our ability to swallow, protect teeth, and aid digestion. A dry mouth can wreak havoc on our health, so if you’ve noticed problems with your saliva production, it could be a salivary gland problem that must be examined by a specialist.
It’s not a dentist whom you should consult for your salivary gland problem, but a board-certified ENT (ear/nose/throat), like the specialists at the Salivary Stone Center of Excellence. You require an expert who can diagnose the source of your problem and recommend the most suitable treatment plan. Our doctors always consider conservative methods first before suggesting a surgical procedure.
Important Role of Salivary Glands
Three salivary glands are responsible for most of our saliva production: parotid located inside the cheeks; submandibular at the bottom of our mouth; and sublingual under the tongue.
Keeping our mouths moist doesn’t just help us talk, chew, or swallow, saliva also performs other critical functions such as:
- Attacks decay-causing bacteria
- Destroys viruses
- Neutralizes plaque acids
- Rebuilds tooth enamel
- Fights fungus
If either gland gets a blocked salivary duct or infection, saliva production is inhibited. This will increase the risk of dry mouth, a condition that promotes tooth decay and could set off a chain reaction of serious health consequences.
Dry Mouth Is Harmful
When our mouths are dry, the gums do not receive enough moisture to keep them healthy. Tooth decay will begin along the gum line, then if not treated immediately, gums will reside and expose the layer of teeth below (dentine). This layer doesn’t have protective enamel and can quickly decay causing “root caries” to develop.
Decay may also be seen on the lower front teeth, which are normally well protected by saliva that is produced from underneath the tongue.
If you have dry mouth and notice other symptoms, such as pain when swallowing or difficulty talking, you could have a salivary gland problem which needs immediate treatment. The doctors at the Salivary Stone Center of Excellence are board-certified ENT experts qualified in the most advanced techniques and methods and can provide a solution that is best for you.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you have a dry mouth, it could be a salivary gland disorder and we can help you. Call us today at (888) 576-5946 and schedule a consultation. You can discuss your condition with our ENT specialist and explore your treatment options.