Does your mouth feel dry frequently? While dry mouth can be a noticeable side effect of dehydration, a lack of hydration is not always the underlying issue behind dry mouth. A variety of medications and health conditions can contribute to chronic dryness in the mouth. If you have persistent dry mouth, be sure to discuss this symptom with our dentist at your next appointment. In the meantime, continue practicing meticulous oral hygiene so that dry mouth doesn’t negatively affect your oral health.
Causes of Dry Mouth
There are abundant reasons why a person could have chronic dry mouth (clinically known as xerostomia). For instance, a person could have developed an issue with his or her saliva glands while another person may experience dry mouth due to the medications he or she takes.
Common medications that contribute to xerostomia include anti-depressants, antihistamines, and sedatives. Alcohol and tobacco use does intensify the likelihood of having symptoms of dry mouth. Health conditions that affect moisture in the mouth include diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.
Determining the cause of dry mouth boils down to having a conversation with our dentist and/or your physician to help rule out potential causes.
Treating Dry Mouth
Many times, dry mouth can be rectified with increased water intake and eliminating habits or substances that exacerbate symptoms whenever possible. For those who struggle with dry mouth, it is important to practice thorough oral hygiene. This is because dryness increases the risk for oral conditions like gum disease. Dry gums can become inflamed quite easily. A proper oral hygiene routine requires a minimum of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. Since alcohol has an intense drying effect on the mouth, people with dry mouth should avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol.
Chronic dry mouth sufferers sometimes benefit from oral rinses – prescription and over-the-counter varieties are available. If you are experiencing persistent dry mouth, call our office to ask questions or to schedule an appointment.