Dry mouth may be one of the most commonly experienced oral health issues. And while it might seem like a minor discomfort, it can actually lead to other problems like bad breath, and even tooth decay and gum disease. So if your mouth is dry, don’t let it stay that way! Learn more about why dry mouth happens, and what you can do to treat it, in our blog.
Why does it happen?
There are a number of reasons you could be experiencing dry mouth.
- Dehydration may be the most common. If you’re dehydrated, it’s very likely that you’ll experience dryness in your mouth.
- Dry mouth is a common side effect of medications. A large number of medications treating a wide variety of health issues list dry mouth as one of their side effects.
- Medical conditions themselves may be responsible for dryness. This includes diabetes, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.
- Nerve damage to the head or neck can cause dry mouth.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco both contribute to dry mouth.
- Breathing through the mouth (as opposed to through the nose) will dry out your mouth.
- Dry feeling in the mouth, throat, and tongue
- Sores, cracked lips, split skin at the corners of your mouth
- Bad breath
- Tingling sensation
- Dry nasal passages
- Sore throat
What are the effects of dry mouth?
In addition to general discomfort, it also raises your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. This is because saliva helps to wash away bacteria that live in your mouth, so when there’s a lack of saliva, the bacteria can flourish.
- Drink fluids! Water is best
- Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production.
- Try to breath through your nose instead of through your mouth.
- If the air in your house is too dry, try using a vaporizer.
- If your dry mouth is caused by a medication, ask your doctor if they can change your prescription to a medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth.
- Ask your dentist about an oral rinse.
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