Why Is My Mouth Dry?
Dr. Johnson, the best dentist in Colorado Springs explains that, in a nutshell, saliva is underappreciated. We don’t always consider how vital saliva is to our oral health. However, it can lead to significant problems when we don’t have enough. Saliva is essential in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. When we do not produce enough saliva, we develop a condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is not a disease in and of itself but rather a symptom of something else. It’s unpleasant and inconvenient, but your dentist has various prevention and treatment options. Below, our dentist in Colorado Springs explains common causes.
What Factors Contribute to Dry Mouth?
We frequently see dry mouth in older adults. This is because our bodies respond differently to medications as we age, and our lifestyle habits impact. Below, our dentist office in Colorado Springs shares common reasons for dry mouths.
- First, dry mouth can be caused by various medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, pain relievers, and diuretics.
- Also, dry mouth can be a sign of an underlying illness such as diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and others.
- Additionally, dry mouth is a symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands, including tear and salivary glands.
- Unfortunately, cancer radiation treatments can also have an impact on saliva levels.
- Lastly, Tobacco and alcohol use and recreational drug use such as methamphetamine and marijuana can cause dry mouth.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
We worked with our friend Dr. Kim, dentist Lexington KY, shares that the signs of dry symptoms are as follows.
- A sensation of dryness or stickiness in your mouth.
- Saliva is thick and stringy.
- Breath problems
- Having trouble chewing or swallowing
- Sore or dry throat
- A parched tongue
- Changes in taste perception
- Having difficulty wearing dentures
When Is Dry Mouth an Issue?
Saliva protects your teeth and gums from bacteria and aids in the enjoyment and digestion of food. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it can cause tooth decay and other oral health issues such as:
- Periodontal disease
- Sores in the mouth
- Yeast infection in the mouth (thrush)
- Appetite loss
If you have dry mouth symptoms, see your dentist near me right away to prevent tooth and gum damage.
How Can I Avoid It?
Maintaining regular dental checkups twice a year is one of the most effective ways to prevent dry mouth and other oral health issues. Here are some additional ways to collaborate with your dentist to avoid dry mouth:
- Inform your dentist of any changes in your medication or medical history.
- Hydration is essential for saliva production, so drink plenty of water.
- Consume coffee in moderation.
- Tobacco products should be avoided or avoided entirely.
- Eat a nutritious diet–good nutrition can help increase saliva flow.
- Brush and floss every day.
- If you must use an over-the-counter antihistamine or decongestant, keep in mind that dry mouth is a possible side effect.
- Sleep with an air humidifier and breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.
Getting Help From Your Dentist in Colorado Springs
Dry mouth frequently has both medical and dental causes and consequences. As a result, your dentist and doctor work together to prevent and treat disease. When you notice symptoms, your dentist is an excellent first point of contact and will refer you to your doctor if necessary. At Kissing Camels Family Dentistry, we understand that good oral health extends beyond just taking care of your teeth. Oral health issues can sometimes alert us to the presence of more complex medical problems. In other cases, simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter products can alleviate dry mouth. In any case, going to the dentist is the first step toward feeling better.