What Exactly is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is caused by a deficient amount of saliva production in your mouth. You may experience a sticky sensation and a lack of moisture at various times of the day. This poses the question…
Why is the Production of Saliva Important?
Saliva acts as a safeguard to:
- Maintain your PH levels so you are at less risk for cavities
- Protect your teeth due to the content of calcium and phosphate
- Lubricates your mouth so you can talk, swallow, and chew with ease
- Cleans your mouth from things such as food particles
- Helps keep your immune system positive by providing necessary proteins
Saliva is more important than you could ever imagine.
Causes of Dry Mouth
- Medication - Some medications can reduce your salivary gland production. Speak with your doctor to see if there are alternatives you can take or if you can eliminate any of them.
- Tobacco and Alcohol – If you smoke and drink a lot then you increase your chances of developing dry mouth.
- Damage to Nerves – Do you have any damaged nerves in your head or neck? You are more likely to have dry mouth as a result.
- Old Age – With age your body goes through a lot of changes, changes that lend themselves to dry mouth. Your ability to process medications or undetected health problems are two of the main causes of a dry mouth.
- Other Health Conditions – Diabetes, yeast infections, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and HIV can all contribute to dry mouth.
- Breathing Through Your Mouth and Snoring – Mouth breathers and snorers can end up with dryness in the mouth.
How to Aid Dry Mouth
Depending on the severity of your dry mouth syndrome your doctor or dentist may suggest ways to manage your situation and increase the flow of saliva in your mouth to prevent tooth decay.
Change of Medication Dosage
If your issue is being caused by medication then your doctor might change the dosage to help alleviate dry mouth.
Moisture Inducing Products
Mouth rinses, moisturizers for your mouth or artificial saliva can be introduced by your dentist. A mouthwash made for dry mouth also protects your teeth against decay.
For more severe cases, you might be presented with the following options.
- Saliva Stimulants – Your doctor might prescribe a medication that stimulates saliva production.
- Fluoride Trays – When you go to the dentist, he/she may give you the option of getting fit for fluoride trays. You fill them with fluoride then place them in your mouth to wear overnight. In addition, you may also need to use a special weekly rinse to control cavity production.
You can also try at-home remedies to help with dry mouth. It is important to see a dentist to determine if you have this ailment and the level of severity. A professional can discover the root of the problem and offer solutions to help.
- Moisture in the Air – Consider putting a humidifier in your room to add moisture into the air hence into your lungs.
- Breathe Through Your Nose – If you can, try making a habit of breathing through your nose instead of your mouth.
- Hydrate – Drink water at various intervals during the day and night to help moisten your mouth. You can also suck on ice cubes. It is important to drink water at mealtimes too.
Before you visit the dentist, you can do the following things to help the appointment along and let your dentist better understand your situation.
- Symptoms – Tell your dentist what you are experiencing that makes you think you have dry mouth.
- Medication – Have a list of medications you are taking and for what reason.
- Personal Details – Let your dentist in on life changes that may be a contributing factor to your oral health problem.
- Questions – Ask anything and everything about your oral health situation from what you can do about it to how long it should take to see positive results.
A Healthy Mouth
When you have regularly scheduled appointments with Glenbrook Dental, your dentist in Calgary’s SW will offer ways to keep up a healthy oral routine. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and helping with things such as dry mouth syndrome are just some of our services.