Dry mouth can pose serious health risks

January 24, 2013 8:40:36 AM PST
Everyone has had to deal with dry mouth at one time or another.

Not many people realize that if it's a constant problem, you could be putting your health in danger.

It's believed that 44 million people suffer from the problem.

ER nurse Lauren Geeter's acid reflux medications left her with dry mouth which resulted in a mouth full of cavities.

Doctors said ignoring dry mouth can lead to a lot of trouble because saliva neutralizes acid and protects against bacterial growth.

"If the bacteria are growing in their mouth, there could be a systemic threat to their whole body," Georgia Health Sciences' Dr. Stephen Hsu said.

Cutting out things high in sugar and acid like soda, sports drinks and candy is a good way to prevent dry mouth, according to experts. Consuming green tea extract is a good way to prevent dry mouth.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots. They are mild abrasives that can remove bacteria and plaque from teeth.