Health Conditions That Increase Your Likelihood Of Dental Decay

Even though you may be brushing and flossing regularly, you may still experience tooth decay. There are multiple health conditions that may increase your likelihood of dental decay. Here are a few of them.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, which is often due to dehydration, may also present as a side effect of certain medications. The condition, which is formally called "xerostomia," results in a reduced amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva has multiple purposes, including the dilution and neutralization of oral acids. When the amount of saliva is drastically diminished, the incidence of decay increases.

To help avoid dry mouth, it is important to stay well hydrated. You can sip on water throughout the day to ensure an adequate intake of liquids. Bottled water can make it convenient to keep the clear liquid on hand.

If your dry mouth stems from certain prescribed medicines, you may not be able to avoid your medications, but you may still be able to treat the condition. You can rinse your mouth periodically to wet the oral cavity and dilute acids.

If dry mouth is a chronic problem for you, your dentist may suggest a special alcohol-free mouth rinse to alleviate your dry mouth symptoms.

High Blood Sugar Levels

Elevated blood sugar levels can increase the amount of sugar present in the saliva. The sugars in the saliva can serve as food for oral bacteria that release acids as digestive waste. The acid dissolves the minerals of the enamel, causing tooth decay.

To minimize the impact of blood sugar levels on the health of your teeth, be sure to follow your physician's advice. Blood sugar levels can often be stabilized through medication, diet, and exercise.


Bulimia is an eating disorder. People with the condition overeat and subsequently purge to reduce the number of calories that are processed by the body. The purging process often includes induced vomiting. When a person vomits, the contents of their stomach, which include gastric acid, pass through the oral cavity. The acidic material can decay the teeth just as bacterial acids can. Bulimic patients who purge regularly may suffer significant issues of decay. Bulimia may be treated with psychotherapy and medication. If you suffer from the condition, a physician can prescribe the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

To learn more ways to prevent tooth decay, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.