THE HARMFUL EFFECT OF DRY MOUTH
All of us have at one time or another had a dry mouth, even the famous Oprah Winfrey, experienced dry mouth during her speech while accepting the 2018 Golden Globe. However what you may not know is that there’s a different form of dry mouth – a chronic dry mouth this can be tougher to eliminate by just drinking water. There are many causes for this kind of dry mouth that you did not realize was the cause.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Sometimes a dry mouth is caused by nervousness or stress. More serious and persistent cases of dry mouth, however, are the result of a number of other things, such as:
- Medications, like antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, etc.
- Elective Lifestyle, such as tobacco use
- Diseases, like Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
- Cancer treatments can damage salivary glands due to radiation or chemotherapy.
- Dehydration, caused by fever, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, blood loss and burns.
- Snoring, or sleep apnea, mouth breathing can also dry out your mouth.
- CPAP Therapy is normal side effect when starting out on CPAP therapy because they are not used to the pressurized air required to help open the air passage.
Saliva’s Critical Role
Saliva is essential for our oral health and even more important for our overall comfort. Your mouth constantly produces saliva–generally between two and four pints of saliva a day!
- It is one of the most readily available defenses in your oral health army.
- It helps wash away leftover food particles, neutralizes acids, and controls bad breath.
- It strengthens our teeth against cavities because of the calcium and phosphate ions that are absorbed into the teeth from the saliva.
If you are getting a dry mouth, what does it mean? What should you do if you can’t get it to go away?
You don’t realize how important it is until you start to notice your mouth getting dry. When salivary glands are not working properly, an inadequate flow of saliva reaches the mouth. This can cause :
- dry sticky mouth, which is most uncomfortable
Because saliva acts as a lubricant and a solvent, difficulty speaking, swallowing and tasting are also side effects.
Roughly 10 percent of the population suffers from a condition known as dry mouth. The condition can range from being mild to severe. Aging, medications, poor nutrition, systemic diseases and cancer treatment (chemo/radiation) are all circumstances that can worsen dry mouth. Paris Family Dental can help work with you in figuring out what is causing your dry mouth. In some severe cases, we can prescribe an artificial saliva that may help.
4 Home Remedies You can Try to Help with Dry Mouth.
- Hydration: Regularly sipping water throughout the day will help eliminate the dry feeling. The Mayo Clinic recommends men to drink 3 liters of water and women drink 2.2 liters a day. Regular consumption of water will aid the salivary glands in producing saliva. It’s also important to limit alcoholic and carbonated beverages as these can make dry mouth worse.
- Consume Sugar Free Candy or Gum: Chewing sugar free gum or sucking on a piece of sugar free candy can help relieve symptoms by stimulating saliva production.
- Use a Humidifier: Breathing dry air in can contribute to dry mouth symptoms. Using a humidifier at night to moisten the air can help alleviate the symptoms especially at night. Breathing your nose instead of your mouth can also help cut down drying out your mouth.
- Proper Oral Care: Having dry mouth increases your chance of developing cavities and other periodontal diseases. Flossing every day removes the particles left around the gums that your saliva wasn’t able to wash away. Use a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen the enamel and make it harder for the bacteria to stick. In addition try changing your mouth wash to an alcohol free product. Mouthwash will alcohol may dry your mouth potentially counteracting the benefits of your mouthwash.
Having plenty of saliva is important, not just for your comfort. but because dry mouth increases your risk of:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
Do not delay in letting us know if you have dry mouth so that we can help find the best way to treat it as soon as possible!
Remember that we are happy to help with any oral question you may have.
For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.