Have you ever experienced the sensation of your mouth losing all moisture? Sometimes it happens when people are nervous, causing them to have difficulty speaking. Other times, you may have found that sleeping with the flu causes you to wake up in the middle of the night with a mouth as dry as the desert. Unfortunately for some people, dry mouth is a persistent condition that can be distracting, uncomfortable, and—in extreme cases—painful. There are a few possible causes for dry mouth as well as many different solutions. Today, we’re going to break down some of the facts about dry mouth to help keep you informed and best able to stay comfortable!
Meds May Be To Blame
Unfortunately, oftentimes drugs that are used to treat one condition can come with the side effect that causes another. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer often experience dry mouth, which fortunately should subside once treatment stops. Many drugs list dry mouth as a possible side effect, but drugs for the treatment of anxiety and depression, Parkinson’s disease, antihistamines, and muscle relaxants are all commonly associated with dry mouth. If dry mouth is a relatively new annoyance for you, consider whether this condition started around the time of a new medication. If your medication is necessary, it will be best to learn different ways to keep your mouth moist and comfortable while you’re taking it.
Maybe You’re Just Thirsty
As simple as it sounds, dehydration is often a cause of dry mouth. If you’ve only recently started experiencing this feeling, ask yourself when the last time you had a drink of water was. A moistened mouth is integral to your oral health, just as adequate hydration is to your overall well-being. It is recommended that you drink about 2 liters of water a day. Carrying a reusable water bottle is a great way to ensure you’re always fully hydrated.
Another Reason To Cut Back
Both smoking and drinking are linked to experiencing dry mouth. Alcohol can dehydrate the mouth and smoking can inhibit saliva production, leaving you with a parched feeling. Dry mouth on its own is a cause of bad breath, but when coupled with alcohol and cigarettes, the effect is even less desirable. To avoid dry mouth and bad breath, it’s best to avoid smoking altogether and to remember to stay very well hydrated while drinking alcohol.
There Is Hope!
If you struggle with dry mouth, try chewing sugar-free gum to help aide saliva production. Staying hydrated and avoiding caffeine are also great ways to give your mouth a fighting chance at staying moistened. There are also certain mouthwashes and rinses that may alleviate some symptoms, and your dentist should be able to provide you with more information on what would be best for you.
Dry mouth is an annoying condition that can eventually lead to bad breath, discomfort, tooth decay, and pain.
If you’ve tried some at home remedies to no avail, or if you simply have questions for your dentist regarding your dry mouth, give us a call at Countryside Dental Group to schedule an appointment today!