Dry mouth is not just an uncomfortable and annoying problem to have, but it can lead to dental issues over time. Here are a few things that you need to know about dry mouth and how it impacts your oral health.
Why Dry Mouth Happens
A common reason that you may have dry mouth is that you are not drinking enough water. This means that the problem is as simple as having more water during the day to get rid of it. However, some people have chronic dry mouth that doesn't go away by drinking water. For example, you could be taking a specific type of medication that is causing dry mouth.
In addition, there are other health conditions and medical treatments that can cause dry mouth. This includes people that are going through chemotherapy, some autoimmune diseases, and have a habit of mouth breathing.
Why Dry Mouth Is Bad
Dry mouth is going to cause your teeth to be dry, which makes you more likely to have cavities form in your teeth. They are not protected by that saliva that washes over the surface and removes bacteria, so is more likely to stick to the surface and eat away at the enamel. You also may be more susceptible to issues with sensitive teeth or gum disease, which give you mouth ulcers and bad breath.
How To Avoid Dry Mouth
There are a few things that you can do in order to avoid dry mouth. Start by drinking more water, and make it a goal every day to drink it regularly. You should also avoid drinking alcohol and mouthwashes that contain alcohol. Both are going to dry out your mouth and cause health problems. You can also use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash that helps strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities from forming.
During the day, it can help to use sugar-free candy, mints, or gum. These are going to help increase saliva production, and do not contain the sugar that is going to eat away at your teeth' enamel. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can actually help fight plaque. Look for it on the ingredients list on the gum you chew to determine which one is best for your teeth.
Still struggling with dry mouth and not sure what you can do? Reach out to your dentist for more advice about what you can be doing at home to help create a healthy mouth.
For more information, contact a professional like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.