A chronic dry mouth is more than just an uncomfortable experience, it can pose significant problems to a person’s oral health. If you have ever experienced a dry mouth for a short period of time, you know the desire to have moisture put back into your cheeks, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth. A dry mouth can cause problems swallowing, speaking, and it often indicates that something more serious is going on.
A dry mouth is essentially the cause of an insufficient amount of saliva being produced. Saliva is one of the most overlooked components of oral health, yet it plays a vital role. Saliva helps to neutralize oral acids that are produced by the bacteria that live inside the mouth on a daily basis. Saliva also helps to rinse the teeth from bacteria in order to prevent it from building up along the gum lines. Dry mouth can also cause significantly bad breath because the oral bacteria will dry up and remain attached to the teeth. If you are experiencing chronic dry mouth, it is essential that you bring it to your dentist’s attention to both identify the reason for the condition and to prescribe treatment.
Dry mouth can be caused by various reasons:
- Prescription medications are a huge component to dry mouth. Thousands of medications “dry up” certain necessary bodily fluids. If you are experiencing dry mouth after beginning a new medication, speak to your doctor about changing to a new medication.
- Aging naturally causes many unwanted side effects. Older adults are more likely to experience dry mouth simply because they typically take more medications.
- Dry mouth is often experienced by those who suffer from diabetes.
- Anxiety and depression are often linked to dry mouth.
- Tobacco use, excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, and methamphetamine use increase dry mouth symptoms.
If you are experiencing dry mouth due to any of the aforementioned reasons, or if your mouth seems to be naturally dry, please contact Group Health Dental. A chronic dry mouth puts your oral health at risk, and our practice wants to help ensure that your gums and teeth stay healthy. Our practice can recommend products to safely lubricate the mouth so that it produces an adequate amount of saliva. When water is not sufficient for keeping your mouth moist, contact Group Health Dental.