All of us have surely experienced having a dry mouth at some point in our lives. In fact, dry mouth is one of the most common oral health problems. Unfortunately for some, dry mouth has become a chronic problem that affects several aspects of their daily lives. Apart from its obvious physical effects, dry mouth can also make people lose their confidence when it comes to speaking or eating in public. If you are tired of that dry, thick, and cottony feeling in your mouth, then it is best to learn more about dry mouth causes as well as dry mouth remedies.
Some Facts You Need to Know About Dry Mouth
Dry Mouth Causes
Dry mouth is a condition medically known as xerostomia or hyposalivation. Dry mouth or xerostomia happens when the glands do not produce enough saliva, thereby causing your mouth to feel dry and making it difficult for you to eat. This is because you need saliva to keep your mouth moist and to assist in breaking down your food and swallowing. For most people, the reasons for dry mouth are as simple as sleeping with an open mouth, drinking too much beer or dehydration. In fact, everything that can disrupt your saliva production can become reasons for dry mouth. For those with chronic dry mouth, some specific dry mouth causes include certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, sedatives and decongestants, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, smoking tobacco, and simple nutritional deficiencies like the lack of vitamin A or riboflavin.
Dry Mouth Could Lead to Tooth Decay
Your saliva is basically your mouth’s own cleanser which neutralizes plaque acids. As such, it continually washes your mouth and teeth. Since having dry mouth means a lack of saliva, it can increase the risk of developing tooth decay as well as gum disease.
Dry Mouth Could Be a Sign of a Serious Health Condition
If your reasons for dry mouth are not medical treatments or tobacco use, this could signify that an underlying disease may be the cause of your chronic dry mouth. Some of the most common diseases that may be dry mouth causes are Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, lupus, HIV, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.
How to Get Rid of Dry Mouth
Luckily for most people, there are available treatments for dry mouth. Certain dry mouth remedies are as easy as drinking a lot more water to stay hydrated. Simple lifestyle changes can greatly improve your dry mouth. For example, sucking sugar-free hard candies and chewing sugar-free gum can help as both sucking and chewing naturally increase saliva flow. Improving your oral hygiene can also help alleviate dry mouth effects as it keeps your mouth and your teeth clean and free from possible bacteria. As part of your oral hygiene routine, you should switch to alcohol-free mouthwash, which not only kills bacteria, but can also help keep your mouth moist.
On the other hand, if your dry mouth is caused by your medications, immediately visit your dentist or your doctor and let them know so that they can switch your medicines to help solve the problem. Your doctor can also prescribe you with artificial products which are available in your local drugstores that stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth. However, if you have a chronic dry mouth that is caused by an underlying disease, the only way to treat your dry mouth would be to address the root of the problem. Curing or managing your disease should help normalize your saliva production and cure your dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be very inconvenient at best and might lead to several health problems at worse. If you are suffering from dry mouth and common dry mouth remedies just aren’t working, it may be time to give your dentist a call. It is important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible since dry mouth can easily lead to tooth decay and gum disease that could worsen very quickly. At Sunrise Dentistry, we have a holistic dentist in Durango, CO who will be more than happy to help you with any dry mouth problems and advise you on the proper treatment that would be needed. Visit us today to have your oral health checked!