Everyone’s mouth feels dry from time to time but when this feeling doesn’t go away you may have a problem such as Dry Mouth. Dry Mouth is when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth wet and moisturized. Although you may not be experiencing a completely dry oral cavity, even low production of saliva can be a cause for concern.
Most of the time dentists can spot someone struggling with this, often before they even realize they’re experiencing it. This is important to get checked because, when left untreated, dry mouth can wreck the oral microbiome which may lead to cavities, bad breath, and other oral issues.
What Can Cause Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors. Some that are preventable or lifestyle choices, and others that are less preventable. Determining the cause can help you understand what treatment options may be available.
Some causes of dry mouth include:
- Mouth breathing
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Prescription medication
- Radiation and chemotherapy
How to Help Dry Mouth
The only permanent way to cure dry mouth is to treat its cause or make a lifestyle change.
You may be able to make some small changes to help; such as avoiding certain foods or sugary beverages that can dry out the mouth. Or using a product such as Biotene, which can act as an artificial saliva, providing some relief.
If your dry mouth is the result of medication, it is best to speak with your doctor about possibly adjusting your dosage.
Undiagnosed dry mouth can have some serious consequence on your overall oral health. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health issues become much more common.
If you are suffering from dry mouth we will sometimes recommend a fluoride or xylitol rinse and increase the frequency of your hygiene visits to stay ahead of any potential cavities that may start to form. It is important that you take good care of your teeth and gums. Give our office a call and speak to your dentist or hygienist if you’ve been having difficulties with dry mouth.