Everyone’s mouth gets dry from time to time. However, if the feeling doesn’t go away, you may have chronic dry mouth or xerostomia. This issue raises your risk for developing tooth decay, gum disease and mouth infections, so it’s important to treat it. Symptoms of dry mouth If you have xerostomia, you may notice some of these symptoms:
- A dry or sticky feeling in your mouth
- Thick or stringy saliva
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating or speaking
- Sores or cracked skin in the corners of your mouth
5 Common questions about dry mouth
These are the questions we hear most frequently from our patients with dry mouth.
1. What causes dry mouth?
There are different reasons you may be experiencing dry mouth.
- Dehydration. Not drinking enough water can lead to dry mouth, as can dry air and breathing through your mouth.
- Medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs list dry mouth as a side effect. Cancer medications, antihistamines and decongestants are the most likely to inhibit saliva production.
- Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause dry mouth.
- Health conditions. Dry mouth can be due to certain health conditions such as HIV, type 2 diabetes and autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome.
2. How is dry mouth treated?
If your dry mouth is caused by medication, talk to your doctor about the possibility of changing your prescription. Alternatively, your physician can prescribe you a medication that encourages saliva production.
3. Does dry mouth go away?
With the right treatment, there is a good chance your dry mouth will go away. However, if it’s caused by a medical condition, saliva production may never come back entirely.
4. How can I stop dry mouth at night?
Sleep with your mouth closed and seek treatment for snoring. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom to prevent the air from getting too dry.
5. What’s a natural cure for dry mouth?
Try sipping water throughout the day and always breathe through your nose. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candies can also promote saliva production.
Why you should treat dry mouth ASAP
Saliva production is very important to your oral health. It helps keep your teeth free from decay-causing germs and bacteria. Insufficient saliva can lead to cavities, gum disease, bad breath and difficulty swallowing. If you suffer from dry mouth, regular dental check ups are integral to maintaining your oral health.
If you or a family member has dry mouth, a general or children’s dentist can help protect your teeth and mouth. A dentist at Janz Family Dental clinic in Edmonton will be happy to help you find a solution. Call us today to make an appointment.