While saliva is most often thought of as a digestive aid, this liquid plays a critical role in protecting your teeth from damage by helping to regulate bacteria levels inside your mouth. If you suffer from a condition known as dry mouth, then you probably aren't producing the amount of saliva needed for maximum tooth protection.

Here are three simple things that you can do in the future to help regulate your saliva production for better oral health.

1. Consider switching your prescription medications.

If you are taking any prescription medications, talk to your dentist about these medications during your next routine visit. Many prescription drugs list dry mouth as a side effect, so your lack of saliva could be related to the medications that you are taking on a daily basis.

Your dentist will be able to help you identify any problem medications so that you can ask your family doctor for an alternate prescription that will not limit saliva production.

2. Chew some sugar-free gum.

Another simple way that you can create more saliva is by chewing a piece of gum. Since saliva plays a critical role in the initial breakdown and digestion of the foods you eat each day, masticatory stimulation can trigger natural saliva production.

The act of chewing gum can provide the stimulation that your saliva glands need by tricking them into thinking that there is food that needs to be digested. Just be sure that the gum you are reaching for is sugar free so that you don't cause any damage to the enamel of your teeth.

3. Limit your alcohol intake.

Kicking back with a few drinks might be a good way to relax at the end of a long day, but this relaxation method could be compromising your oral health. Many drinkers report waking up after imbibing with dry mouth.

Alcohol consumption can slow the salivary glands, creating a delay in the production of the saliva your mouth needs to maintain proper moisture levels. By limiting the amount of alcohol you consume, you can easily prevent any dry mouth that may be associated with drinking in the future.

Finding ways to better care for your teeth and gums doesn't have to be difficult. By switching your medications, chewing sugar-free gum, and limiting your alcohol intake to eliminate dry mouth, you can ensure that your teeth always have access to the saliva needed for maximum protection.

Make an appointment with a dentistry such as Mulberry St Family Dentistry to get more personalized advice from a dentist.