In many cases, dry mouth isn’t a large cause for worry. You may be dehydrated, but drinking some water can help you get back to normal. Or perhaps you had a few too many last night, and you’re feeling groggy this morning — which, again, is dehydration.
The common cold can lead to dry mouth as well, as you may breathe through your mouth more when your nose is congested.
With these in mind, dry mouth is a chronic problem for some and could be a sign of something serious. Not only that, but it decreases self-confidence and self-esteem to a point where you might be afraid of eating or speaking in public.
At Absolute Smile, we want our patients to be educated about their oral health. To that end, we’ve assembled some facts about the dry mouth — as well as some tips about dealing with it — below.
Dry Mouth Facts
What is Dry Mouth, and Why is Saliva Important?
1. Saliva is required for a healthy mouth. Saliva is essentially the start of the digestive process, aiding your teeth in breaking down food. Additionally, it cleanses your mouth of plaque acids to help keep your mouth healthy.
2. Xerostomia. This is the medical term for “dry mouth”. It negatively affects saliva flow, which leads to a feeling of excessive dryness in the mouth. Without this saliva, you’ll have a harder time eating and keeping your mouth healthy.
3. Saliva also helps with taste. Saliva helps you taste food and makes it easier to eat dry foods. With dry mouth, dry foods can be quite a challenge.
Dry Mouth Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
1. Dry mouth can have many causes. Old age, medications, and other medical conditions are all possible causes of dry mouth.
2. Dry mouth in men vs. women. Women are more likely to experience chronic dry mouth than men are.
3. Dental issues. Dry mouth increases the risks of various dental conditions like gum disease and tooth decay, as there is a lack of saliva flow. The mouth can also feel quite sore.
4. Prevention. Dry mouth can’t be prevented, but many medications can ease the symptoms of it.
Tips For Dealing With Dry Mouth
Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing stimulates saliva production. Chew sugarless gum to minimize dry mouth. Remember to avoid gum with sugar, as it can lead to tooth damage over time.
Sip Water Often
Frequent water consumption can help alleviate dry mouth in the short-term. If you have trouble remembering, set yourself an alarm that reminds you to sip water every 10 minutes.
Use the Right Products
There are several kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses out there specifically designed for people dealing with dry mouth. In general, look for toothpaste with 1350 – 1500 parts per million of fluoride.
Additionally, there are several gels and sprays on the market that can ease symptoms. Many also have ingredients that keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Dry mouth leads to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It’s vital that you see your dentist regularly. They’ll be able to keep your mouth healthy despite the dry mouth, as well as recommend to you how many times you should visit them.
Are you dealing with a dry mouth right now? Schedule your appointment at our Philadelphia dental office today. Let’s keep your mouth healthy and your teeth shining bright!