Why Do People Seem to Get More Cavities As They Age? | Our Dental Blog
Why Do People Seem to Get More Cavities As They Age?
Jan 11 2018
Your salivary glands produce two forms of saliva, and both are important for the health of your teeth and mouth. These two forms of saliva are called serous saliva and mucoid saliva. Serous saliva is the form that is wet and watery, mucoid saliva is more sticky and thick. Serous saliva helps create chemicals that keep the acids and bases balanced in your mouth. Mucoid saliva is crucial for digesting your food.
As we get older, the amount of serous saliva created begins to decrease. When serous saliva is not present, we experience dry mouth, also called xerostomia. This results in your mouth becoming more acidic, leading to tooth decay.
Besides just aging, chemotherapy and certain medications can also cause dry mouth. A common side effect of many medications is dry mouth. Chemotherapy can also cause dry mouth. Since chemotherapy slows the multiplication of cells, the production of salivary gland cells also slows.
Your dental checkups and oral health routine at home becomes even more important as you age. You may even want to visit the dentist more than twice a year so, if any problems occur, they can be caught in the earlier stages. Your dentist can talk to you about the different options for fighting dry mouth.