Will My Aligner Cause Dry Mouth?
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Table of Contents
- Causes of Aligner Dry Mouth
- How to Avoid Dry Mouth
- Do Aligners Cause Bad Breath?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Aligners are a potential cause of dry mouth. That’s because they are foreign objects that can irritate gums and cause swelling. Your mouth may produce less saliva as a result, causing dry mouth.
There are simple steps you can take to reduce dry mouth when using clear aligners, such as drinking more water, boosting your oral hygiene routine, and limiting caffeine intake.
What Causes Aligner Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) stems from a low supply of saliva. Since saliva functions to keep the mouth wet as it fights off bacteria, a lack of saliva leads to overall dryness. It also makes gum disease and tooth decay more likely because saliva acts as a natural cleanser in the mouth.
While aligners are considered appliances that can improve periodontal health, they can contribute to dry mouth. Your body treats aligner trays as foreign objects, mostly because they can cause mouth irritation and gum swelling. Consequently, your salivary glands will secrete less saliva to minimize irritation, causing the mouth to dry.
Because aligner trays cover teeth for up to 22 hours a day or more, oral care specialists advise that you remain vigilant about improving your oral hygiene routine. Improved oral care can lessen the likelihood of complications like cavities, bad breath, yeast infections, and chewing and swallowing problems caused by dry mouth.
How to Avoid Aligner Dry Mouth and Bad Breath
In the event of dry mouth and bad breath, take the following steps:
Drink more water.
Improve your oral hygiene.
Remove aligners while eating.
Abstain from smoking and limit your caffeine intake.
Keep your aligners clean.
Do Aligners Cause Bad Breath?
You need to wear aligners most of the day — about 22 hours — for them to effectively move your teeth. Covering your teeth with plastic for extended hours provides a conducive environment for bacteria accumulation. This accumulation could lead to bad breath if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.
The good news is you can reduce the likelihood of bad breath related to aligner wear if you simply brush and floss after every meal. Also, make sure to change your aligner trays out on the recommended schedule. Wearing them for longer than recommended increases the likelihood of bad breath.
Can aligners make your mouth dry?
Do aligners make you thirsty?
The Role of Natural Salivary Defences in Maintaining a Healthy Oral Microbiota. (January 2019). Journal of Dentistry. Date fetched: July 15, 2022.
Periodontal Health During Clear Aligners Treatment: A Systematic Review. (October 2015). European Journal of Orthodontics. Date fetched: July 15, 2022.
For the Dental Patient: Bad Breath - Causes and Tips for Controlling It. (September 2012). American Dental Association. Date fetched: July 15, 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign. (September 2021). Invisalign. Date fetched: July 15, 2022.
Future of Orthodontics: Let Us Look Before We Leap: A Review Article. (October 2019). Saudi Journal of Oral and Dental Research. Date fetched: July 15, 2022.