So you’ve found that no matter how well you brush and or floss your teeth, you still seem to have the same issues when you visit the dentist…cavities and or bleeding gums. To make matters worse, you get the snarky look from your dental provider who tells you all of the things that you are doing wrong, and that you “really need to floss more often”, just after they’ve made a bloody and sensitive mess of your mouth with their sharp metal tools of choice.
At that moment you probably feel like poking them in the eye with one of their own beloved torture devices while screaming “I do floss” or “do you know how much it hurts when I try to floss?”, and you may even leave the office feeling hopeless, embarrassed and broke. And, although it may be nice to know that you are not alone, it doesn’t make your reality any different, or change the fact that there is a serious issue to deal with.
But what if there were a reason that you were developing these issues in your mouth that was being looked over; what if, in fact your cavities and gum disease weren’t a result of your lack of homecare, and instead were a result of food allergies, and how food allergies change your saliva? Would you believe that there was an answer to cavities and gum disease that you are plagued with?
Food allergies can cause an imbalance in saliva
Saliva is a pretty much the most important thing for the mouth, and it is responsible nearly everything that happens in there. Some of the most basic functions for saliva are digesting food, allowing you to taste, and it allows you to swallow. Saliva has hundreds of responsibilities; these are just a priceless few.
There are two types of saliva in your mouth; thick (mucous) and thin (serous). Together they work beautifully, but when your body is dealing with an allergy, it causes the thin saliva to turn off, and your thick saliva to remain.
Our body has the amazing ability to protect itself
The “why” for this happening is really detailed and ranges from brain function to digestive function, but because an allergen has been introduced into the system, the body goes into a protective measure similar to the “fight or flight” mode.
When the thicker saliva is mainly present in the mouth, the result is a thick, ropy acidic fluid that instead of lubricating and digesting (thin saliva’s function) it holds on to bacteria and sticks to the teeth and gums. What is normally washed away now remains, wreaking havoc on the teeth and gums. It also helps to cause food to stick to the teeth as it is being digested.
Medications compound the problem
To make matters worse, 80% of our medications have a side effect of dry mouth. Think about how many medications many people take daily, and then add on a food allergy to that and you have a recipe for disaster!
Both dry mouth and thick saliva will cause issues with cavities and bleeding gums, and when you visit your dentist for a cleaning, you may get the wrath bestowed upon you for not taking part in your home care, when in reality it’s the imbalance in saliva that is the real issue, not whether you flossed or not.
Can saliva flow be corrected?
Because dry mouth has so many factors, it may take a while to nail down the issue, but the first thing you can do is begin to learn what products help and what products cause further imbalance in the mouth.
Many people will tell you that drinking water and continually hydrating throughout the day will help, and while that will help somewhat, it will do little to the acids that are stuck in the mouth, not being constantly bathed away from thin saliva, and it will not help to wash away the thick saliva.
In order to remove the thick film and moisturize the gums you need to make sure that the products you use are free of alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), glycerin and preferably contain xylitol.
Xylitol can be a sweet surprise in balancing saliva and buffering the acids
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that comes from things like birch and corn. Our bodies make 15 grams of xylitol daily, but when we add an additional 1-2 tsp day it helps stop bacteria from being acidic and sticking to teeth. Xylitol also helps to restore the thin saliva that has all of the healthy properties of the thin saliva as well.
Next we will focus on what foods help and harm the mouth when you are dealing with food allergies, and how you can combine your foods to further neutralize the acids in the mouth.
For now, leave a comment below and let us know if you have had any luck with products that help with dry mouth and thick saliva.