Dry mouth is an uncomfortable feeling that all of us experience occasionally. But living with a chronically dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s unhealthy too. At my Evansville dental office, we wanted to examine the top causes of dry mouth, why it’s so concerning, and ways to combat it for healthy, happy mouth.
Why Is Dry Mouth Concerning?
When the mouth is dry, it means your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep it moist. Saliva is crucial for oral health and has many jobs. It helps wash away food particles, neutralizes acids, and even kills bacteria. Without it, you’re at increased risk for things like tooth decay and infections in the mouth.
Top Causes of Dry Mouth
- Medications. Many medications can contribute to dry mouth, hundreds in fact. Most commonly, these medicines are those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, and cancer. Look at the label on your medications to see if dry mouth may be a side effect.
- Diseases & Medical Conditions. Dry mouth could also be caused by another health problems including, but not limited to, Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
- Smoking & Drinking. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can have a drying effect on the mouth.
- Mouth Breathing. If the mouth is opened for prolonged periods of time, the constant exposure to air dries out the mouth.
Signs & Symptoms
- Cracked, dry lips
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking
- Dry throat or tongue
- Bad breath
How to Combat Dry Mouth
Treatment of dry mouth can vary from person to person, depending on their own individual reason for having dry mouth. Some ways you can help stop dry mouth include:
- Drink water throughout the day
- Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivary glands
- Speak with your dentist in Evansville
If you’ve been suffering from dry mouth, or believe it may be a problem, give my dental office in Evansville a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your symptoms and talk about the possible cause. Then together, we’ll determine the best treatment for you.
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