Posted on August 24, 2023
When you have a dry mouth, you might find that you’re more thirsty than normal, or you feel like you always have bad breath - but do you know what’s causing that dry feeling? There could be a few reasons you’re experiencing dry mouth, and you might even be able to help alleviate some of the dryness with simple remedies. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of dry mouth.
For some people, dry mouth could be due to the medications they are taking as there are more than 400 prescription medications currently available where a side effect is dry mouth. This could include prescriptions for blood pressure, overactive bladder and some mental health conditions. For some people who have had chemotherapy treatments, they may also find that their mouth feels dry – which is due to the saliva thickening.
Head and neck issues
Have you had a head or neck injury? For some people, one of the long-term side effects they have noticed after sustaining the injury is that they now have a dry mouth. If there is nerve damage between the brain and salivary glands, it could cause the glands to either over or underproduce saliva.
This is a legitimate medical condition - actually, it’s an autoimmune disorder. What happens is that white cells in the body attack your tear and salivary glands. For people who have this disorder, they will notice they don’t produce tears or have as much saliva as others.
Other medical conditions
In some cases, people who are living with diabetes or HIV have reported that they experience dry mouth regularly.
While smoking itself doesn’t directly cause someone to have dry mouth, if you do have a drier mouth, smoking can make it much worse. If you needed another reason to quit, there’s one.
Treating dry mouth
If you notice that you’re experiencing dry mouth, you should talk to your doctor about what’s going on and what you’re experiencing. Your doctor will look at the medications you’re taking and assess whether there are any other factors that could be causing dry mouth. From there, they can help diagnose why you might be experiencing these symptoms.
Make sure to look after your teeth
Saliva is helpful for many things, including removing leftover food particles from your teeth. When food sits in the cracks and crevices of your teeth, it can really damage your teeth – including causing cavities. If you are living with dry mouth, it’s really important to make sure you are taking care of your teeth. Try to drink water frequently during the day and brush and floss every day.
How can you relieve dry mouth?
Some people have to see their doctor to get help with it; however, others have reported that sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum can definitely help boost saliva production.
Additionally, try to stay away from drinks that contain a lot of caffeine and try to make sure you drink an adequate amount of water during the day. Make sure to also visit your dentist for your regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings, as this can really help prevent major dental issues in the long run.
Contact Stoney Creek Dental today
If you have dry mouth, you may want to consider more frequent dental cleanings to keep your teeth healthy. Contact Stoney Creek Dental today to schedule your next appointment.