The summer has us worried about staying hydrated and wearing sunblock to avoid sunburns. But for those who suffer from dry mouth, you also worry about it getting worse with the heat. You don’t have to worry about it ruining your summer break when you discover help for dry mouth. Find relief from it so your mouth won’t feel like the Sahara desert at high noon in late July.
Dry mouth is a dental condition which annoys many individuals, but with help for dry mouth, you won’t have to let it take over your life.
What is Dry Mouth?
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is a reduced flow of saliva in the mouth. There are many different causes of dry mouth, including chemotherapy treatment, side effects of certain medications, autoimmune disease, and other conditions. Often, the lack of saliva in your mouth could result from you being nervous or anxious, or you may need to drink more fluids.
In oral health, saliva is a vital part of oral health. Saliva prevents tooth decay by limited bacterial growth and neutralizing the acids they produce. It also lubricates the oral cavity, moistening the mucous membranes. Saliva breaks down food particles, aiding in oral health and digestion.
Although having dry mouth may seem harmless, this oral health condition can cause something more severe. Effects of dry mouth include difficulty tasting, chewing, and swallowing food, and even trouble speaking.
Dry mouth can increase the chances of:
- Tooth decay
- Breaking down the minerals of the teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- Oral infections
- Bad breath
- A sore throat
While it is not a disease, dry mouth is a side effect and can be a common problem in patients. Dry mouth can range from a small, bothersome issue that can come and go, to affecting the health of your teeth and appetite and taste. Causes of dry mouth depend on a variety of factors, with the common influencers being medication or disease.
Help for Dry Mouth: What to do if You Have Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth doesn’t have to be a pest in your life; it is crucial to seek your family dentist to see if it is a more serious dental issue or something you can do to help lessen the dryness.
Change up your diet
There a variety of options one can do to treat their dry mouth. As it is a side effect, the best option is to find the roots of the problem and consult with a physician or dentist. However, in the cases of medication and disease, this may not be a viable option.
Over-the-counter options do exist. The most common options are saliva substitutes and saliva stimulants. Saliva substitutes can mimic saliva but do not increase saliva production. Saliva stimulants are a chemical, in the form of a lozenge, which stimulates the salivary glands, producing more saliva.
Chew sugarless gum
Sugarless gum can work wonders to stimulate saliva flow if you’re suffering from dry mouth. It can also help treat bad breath.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Substances like caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can cause dehydration. Consume them less to reduce the effects of dry mouth.
Practice better breathing
When you breathe through your mouth, it could be contributing to your dry mouth. Instead, try to breathe through nose more often throughout the day.
Drink more water
Water is the best medicine! Drink water throughout the day to help reduce dry mouth and to improve hydration. Also, eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content can help.
Practice good oral hygiene
When you suffer from dry mouth, the limited saliva makes your mouth more susceptible to disease and tooth decay. Practicing a proper oral hygiene routine is your help for dry mouth to produce saliva and stay healthy. Brush your teeth in the morning and night, and remember to floss daily to remove leftover plaque.
Also consider adding mouthwash to your routine, as there is specific dry mouth rinse to lubricate after brushing.
Treat Your Dry Mouth Before the Summer Heat
Get the help of dry mouth you need before heading to the beach to enjoy your summer. Come into Cabrillo Family Dental Care for your dental needs. Schedule an appointment today!