Most people will experience temporary mouth dryness at some point in their life when they are dehydrated or anxious. But chronic dry mouth, or xerostomia, can negatively impact your oral health in ways that dramatically decrease your quality of life. Read on to learn about common causes of dry mouth, its symptoms and negative effects, and what you can do about it.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications. Other contributing factors can include dehydration, a vitamin deficiency, aging, cancer therapy, recreational drug use, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Chronic dry mouth can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as a sticky or dry feeling of the tongue, a sore throat, grooves in the tongue, cracked lips, trouble chewing and swallowing, bad breath, and problems wearing dentures.
Negative Effects of Dry Mouth
As the mouth’s natural rinse, saliva is an incredibly important factor in your oral health. Saliva rinses away food particles and bacteria that lead to plaque and tartar, and helps remineralize teeth. Due to the inadequate production of saliva, chronic dry mouth contributes to an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and bad breath, as well as poor self-esteem.
What to Do About Dry Mouth
- Never miss your dental cleaning and as your hygienist for recomendations.
- Always make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, even if you aren't thirsty. We recommend keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times and regularly refilling it.
- Ask your doctor about other medications that don’t cause dry mouth. Do not stop taking a medication without consulting your doctor.
- If you smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs recreationally–quit!
- Brush and floss your teeth every day, and use an alcohol-free lubricating mouthwash specially-formulated to combat mouth dryness.
- Ask us about saliva substitutes or medications that stimulate the production of saliva.
Dry Mouth Treatment in Oakville
Our expert team at Kiwi Dental can help you find solutions to your dental discomfort and help prevent future issues with your teeth. So if you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth, contact us today! We hope to hear from you soon.