Do you have dry mouth? Dry mouth is a common oral health problem. It might not seem like a big deal, but dry mouth can actually contribute to a number of other oral health concerns, including tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis. This week, learn why dry mouth happens, the oral health problems it can cause, and what you can do to treat it!
Why does dry mouth happen?
There are several potential causes of dry mouth. These include:
- Medication – A common side effect of some medications is dry mouth. This includes a number of medications, including allergy, pain, hypertension, depression, and more. Read your medication bottle to see if dry mouth is a side effect.
- Illness – Dry mouth is a symptom of some illnesses, This includes chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis among others. The common cold and/or fever is another common cause of dry mouth.
- Nerve Damage – Damage to the nerves in the head or neck can lead to dry mouth. Direct damage to the salivary glands can also cause dry mouth.
- Dehydration – Not staying properly hydrated commonly leads to dry mouth.
- Tobacco Use – If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, dry mouth is a common side effect.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Aside from the dryness of the mouth, dry mouth often comes with a number of other symptoms:
- Sores in or around the mouth, cracked lips.
- Tingling or burning feeling in the mouth or tongue.
- Sore throat, dry throat.
- Bad breath
Dry Mouth is more than just an inconvenience, as chronic dry mouth can contribute to oral health problems. This is because saliva helps protect your teeth from decay. When there’s no saliva, bacteria build up on the teeth and gums, causing decay and contributing to gum disease. If you have chronic dry mouth, it’s important to treat it.
Treating Dry Mouth
An immediate treatment for dry mouth is to drink water. You can also try breathing more through your nose and less through your mouth. Other short term remedies include using a vaporizer in your room to add moisture to the air, and chewing sugar-free gum.
If you have chronic dry mouth, your dentist may recommend an oral rinse or the use of an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute. Talk to your dentist in Olney today to learn more about treatment options for dry mouth!
If you would like more information on dry mouth, or think its time for a visit to the dentist, call Olney Dental! You can reach us at (301) 250-1057 or, you can schedule an appointment online.You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.