Dry mouth is a common concern and can affect the condition of your teeth and gums.
The mouth contains salivary glands that work to produce saliva, a substance that plays a vital role in keeping the mouth clean and maintaining overall oral health. When insufficient saliva is produced, a condition known as dry mouth or xerostomia can occur. If you suffer from dry mouth, you know that it can be quite uncomfortable. In its severe stages, the condition can actually make it difficult to chew and swallow properly and can even affect our ability to speak with ease. Here’s what you should know about dry mouth, its possible causes, and what you can do about it…
1. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors
There are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing dry mouth. These include certain health conditions, such as diabetes, some medications, and lifestyle habits like smoking and other forms of tobacco use.
Certain beverages can also contribute to a dry mouth — caffeine and alcohol are two of the main culprits.
The natural ageing process also tends to increase one’s risk of dry mouth, as do issues like nerve damage and anxiety.
2. Dry mouth affects your oral health
If you have ever had a dry mouth, you will know that it can feel quite uncomfortable. But, the implications of the condition go much further than an unpleasant feeling. Saliva plays an important part in maintaining overall oral health because it provides essential minerals to the enamel of the teeth, washes away food particles and other debris, and helps support the tissues of the mouth. Without enough saliva in the mouth, there is an increased risk of problems like gum disease and tooth decay. You may also notice that you find it difficult and/or uncomfortable to chew, swallow and speak, and you might develop painful mouth sores. Dry mouth is also often a contributing factor to bad breath, an embarrassing and unpleasant problem.
3. It can often be prevented
The good news is that, in many cases, dry mouth can actually be prevented. To keep your mouth moist, try to limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and drink plenty of water instead. If you smoke, it is highly advisable you quit the habit — chat to your healthcare practitioner about sustainable and manageable ways to do so.
It’s important to understand that dry mouth is sometimes an indication of an underlying health condition, which is why it is very important that you see your dentist regularly. Try to schedule routine checkups and cleans every six months so that any potential problems can be addressed as soon as possible.
4. There are treatment options
If you find that you are constantly struggling with a dry mouth, try to increase your consumption of water throughout the day — this will prevent dehydration and may alleviate your symptoms.
You may also find it helpful to chew on some sugar-free gum, as this promotes the production of saliva in the mouth.
If the problem is ongoing and causes you concern and discomfort, it is advisable that you consult with your dentist. They will be able to help you get to the bottom of the issue and recommend a way forward.
How can we help?
At Crown Dental Group, we are committed to helping our patients enjoy optimal oral health in the long term. If you have an oral health concern that you would like to discuss, we encourage you to come in and see us. We will take the time to get to know your particular needs before recommending a treatment plan that is right for you.
If you would like to find out about the full scope of treatments that we offer at Crown Dental Group, please have a look here.
To arrange a consultation at Crown Dental, please get in touch here.