Dry Mouth Causes and Treatments
If you suffer from dry mouth that just won't seem to go away, you should seek treatment. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by oral or general health problems. General dentistry treatments can restore the oral health of dry mouth sufferers. To find out which dry mouth treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Palm Beach Gardens dentist Jay Ajmo.
The Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands don't produce enough saliva, leaving the mouth feeling dry. Dry mouth can have many causes, including dehydration, the foods we eat, oral infections, or damaged salivary glands. Some causes of dry mouth include:
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and inhibit the salivary glands from producing enough saliva.
- Breathing dry air: Breathing dry air can dry out the mouth and nasal passages, leading to dry mouth.
- Oral infections: Oral infections are a potential cause of dry mouth.
- Damaged or removed salivary glands: Damaged or removed salivary glands don't produce the saliva that patients need.
- Smoking: Smoking, and any tobacco use, leads to dry mouth.
- Eating starchy foods: Starchy foods, like breads and potatoes, soak up saliva and lead to dry mouth.
- Certain medications: Dry mouth may be a side effect of some medications.
Dry Mouth Treatments
Dry mouth that lasts for an extended period of time should be check by a dentist and general doctor so it can be treated. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to oral health problems like bad breath, tooth erosion, gum disease, dental decay, and tooth loss. Treating dry mouth depends on the causes. Dry mouth treatments include:
- Drinking plenty of water: Drinking water can fight dehydration and replenish saliva.
- Using an air humidifier: When dry mouth is caused by dry air, use of a humidifier can add moisture to the air and reduce dry mouth symptoms.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can cause dry mouth (and many other oral and general health issues). Stop smoking to help stop dry mouth.
- Avoiding starchy foods: Skip starchy foods to prevent dry mouth.
- Using an over-the-counter saliva substitute: Saliva substitutes are a good option for those with damaged or removed salivary glands.
- Practicing good oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups, can reduce the risk of oral infection and dry mouth.
- Speaking to your general physician: If dry mouth is caused by medications, you should see your general physician to discuss dosages or alternative medications.
Seek Treatment for Dry Mouth
Untreated dry mouth can lead to major oral health problems. It can also cause bad breath, make it difficult to taste food, and increase your risk for dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. You don't have to suffer from this condition because dry mouth is treatable. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ajmo and seek treatment today.
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