Dry mouth may seem like just an annoyance, but the truth is it can lead to major health issues if not corrected. When your mouth is dry, tooth decay and periodontal disease are able to thrive, and these can lead to a greater risk of other serious health problems like heart disease and stroke.
As a holistic dentistry practice focused on how good oral health can help your overall health, we feel it is important to focus on this subject. So we’ve put together a list of half a dozen dry mouth causes, and what you can do to minimize or eliminate it.
There are six common causes of dry mouth:
- Aging – A side effect of growing older is that our bodies produce less saliva.
- Breathing Issues – Blocked nasal passages or problems with sinuses and your nasal septum can cause you to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose.
- Dehydration – Dehydration makes it more difficult for your body to generate saliva.
- Diseases & Infections –Dry mouth can be one of the side effects for medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and Parkinson’s.
- Medication & Treatments – Dry mouth as a side effect of medications is common. Radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments can lead to dry mouth, especially when salivary glands could get damaged.
- Lifestyle Choices – Smoking, drinking, and chewing tobacco can all adversely affect your saliva production.
How can I fight dry mouth?
In addition to responding appropriately to causes listed above (with your doctor’s guidance), you can follow some of these suggestions as well:
During the day…
Try drinking more water, chewing a sugar-free gum with Xylitol (which is better for your teeth than other artificial sweeteners), using saliva-replacement lozenges or sprays, and switching to dry-mouth-specific rinses and toothpastes.
During the night…
If you wake up every morning with dry mouth, you’ll want to address the underlying cause. Tips to fight nighttime dry mouth include using a humidifier, wearing nasal strips, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and drinking plenty of water during the day.
Susquehanna Dental Arts cares about your oral health! If you struggle with dry mouth, we hope you found this information useful, and we encourage you to share this article with anyone who may make use of it as well.