Most people experience dry mouth now and then. This can be due to dehydration, excessive alcohol intake, or sleeping with your mouth open. For others tho, dry mouth can be a chronic condition that can impact day-to-day life.
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia, and is a condition that affects the flow of salvia causing your mouth to feel dry. Saliva is important for your mouth to function properly. Salvia has several jobs. It keeps your mouth moist, helps break down your food, and helps you swallow. Another important job of salvia is to act as a cleanser to neutralize plaque acids. The lack of saliva can affect the taste of food and makes it difficult to eat drier foods. Occasionally it can affect the way your speak or cause you to have bad breath. We produce most of our saliva during the day so dry mouth can be worse during the night.
Who Suffers from Dry Mouth?
There are many causes of dry mouth. It can be a result of old age, or a side effect of medication – especially heart medication, blood pressure medication, and/or depression medication. Sometimes dry mouth can be caused by your medical condition. Talk to your doctor to see if your medication or medical condition is causing your dry mouth. Women (27%) tend to suffer more from dry mouth than men (21%). While there is no current way to prevent dry mouth, there are some things you can do to prevent it.
Tips for Preventing Dry Mouth
Use Fluoride Tooth Paste – Using fluoride toothpaste is important, but stay away from products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) as it may worsen your dry mouth.
Try Sugar-Free Gum – Chewing sugar-free gum make your mouth produce saliva and can help ease your dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Products – There are many products on the market to help ease your dry mouth and also present tooth decay such as oral rinses, toothpaste, and sprays.
Sip on Water – Drink water can help your dry mouth temporarily and will keep you hydrated.
Visit Your Dentist – Unfortunately, with dry mouth, you may have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Speak with your dentist about your dry mouth situation and ask them for suggestions on prevention.
Dry mouth can range from an inconvenience to a traumatic experience. Although there is no cure currently, using the tips and tricks above will help ease your symptoms.