The condition of our oral health can be an indicator of our overall health. There’s more to good dental health than having a beautiful smile. That’s the most visible element, but a lot is going on in the otherwise unassuming oral cavity. Our mucus membranes, tongue, teeth, gums, palates, lips, bones, and salivary glands all have important roles to play in keeping our smile healthy. You may be surprised to learn that your salivary glands are essential to our oral health. Saliva serves many critical roles that contribute to holding tooth decay and gum disease at bay and your oral mucosa (soft tissues) healthy. The Birch Point Dental Clinic team is here to help educate our patient family on important topics like this as part of our commitment to next-level care.
How Salivary Gland Disorders Can Disrupt Your Oral Health
Our salivary glands are the source of saliva and keep our oral cavity healthy. The most common salivary gland disorders impact the ability of these glands to produce saliva, leading to frequent dry mouth and the loss of saliva’s protective qualities. Sjogren’s Syndrome is one common salivary gland disorder. Bacterial and viral infections can also be involved, as well as the formation of salivary gland stones due to a condition known as sialothiasis.
When a salivary gland disorder is present, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Dry Mouth
- Facial or neck swelling
- Struggles with opening the mouth
- Pain or discomfort in the face or mouth
- Recurring salivary gland infections
- Strange tastes or difficulty swallowing
These symptoms are warning signs that you may be experiencing difficulties with your salivary glands. If left untreated, they can contribute to the formation of gum disease, oral infections, and tooth decay. If you’re experiencing symptoms like these, you should immediately seek help from dental professionals like the Birch Point Dental Care team.
Our saliva plays various central roles in our oral health and digestion. When saliva production is disrupted, we don’t produce enough to help with chewing and swallowing our foods. In addition, saliva helps maintain the health of our oral mucosa by keeping them moist and pliable. Saliva also alters our oral cavity’s pH level, making it inhospitable to the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Finally, our saliva helps to wash away bacteria and remove food debris from our oral cavity throughout the day. All of these factors make maintaining healthy saliva glands important to our oral and overall health.
Birch Point Dental Is Here For Comprehensive Dental Care
Maintaining your oral health is why we’re here to be your partner in supporting your oral health and ensuring that you are always able to enjoy a beautiful smile. If you’re experiencing oral health concerns, including those associated with salivary gland disorders, reach out to us today. You can speak to our team at (807) 698-8838 and schedule an appointment for a consultation in Thunder Bay, ON. Don’t wait to start seeking excellent oral health care; your smile will thank you.