Dry mouth might not be something you think about too often until the moment you experience it. When you’re nervous, stressed out, or upset, you may notice that your mouth is dry or that you have difficulty swallowing. If this sounds like you more often than not, whether you’re under stress or not, then dry mouth can be an uncomfortable concern that can lead to serious health issues.
Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, typically occurs when the glands that make saliva in your mouth aren’t working problem. Common causes of dry mouth include stress, nervousness, certain medications, aging, autoimmune disorders such as Sjorgren’s syndrome, cancer therapy including radiation and chemotherapy, smoking, and methamphetamine usage. Unfortunately, dry mouth can turn into a big problem if left untreated. You need the saliva to help protect your teeth from decay, tame bacteria and fungi in the mouth, and digest the food you eat. Without that saliva, you can develop tooth decay and other infections in your mouth.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take in order to minimize or prevent dry mouth. Sipping water and sugarless drinks often is a great way to start. We also recommend avoiding drinks that contain caffeine, including caffeinated coffees, teas, and sodas. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candy can also help stimulate saliva flow. Also, minimize your intake of spicy, salty, sugary, and acidic food, and use a humidifier at night to help your mouth retain moisture while you sleep.
If you find that dry mouth is an issue, there are various ways that it can be treated, but it depends on what’s causing the problem. If medicine is the culprit, your doctor may be able to change your medicine or adjust the dosage. If your salivary glands aren’t working properly, your doctor may be able to give you an over-the-counter or prescription medication that helps stimulate more saliva. No matter what the cause of your dry mouth, though, you will definitely want to make an appointment to see your dentist to determine the cause.
Suffering from dry mouth? Need a biannual cleaning? Request your appointment with the best – Foley Dental Group – by calling us at (618) 288-9670 or by visiting www.foleydentalgroup.com!