Posted on: 21 May 2018
Have you noticed that your mouth is constantly dry? It is quite common to experience that parched sensation now and then, but if you are suffering persistently, and speaking and swallowing is uncomfortable, it's certainly time for investigation. Maintaining your oral health is paramount.
This easy guide will help you discover what is causing the condition and how you can find relief.
Understand the Causes of Dry Mouth
Xerostomia or dry mouth is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva produced by the body. If the condition continues extensively it can compromise oral health and lead to more serious dental issues.
Decreased saliva can be attributed to a number of factors, some quite common such as:
- simply not drinking enough water or making sure to re-hydrate after strenuous exercise
- being in a stressful situation, such as feeling nervous about speaking publicly
However, the majority of dry mouth issues result from side-effects of medication. Unfortunately there are a large number of medications that can cause reduce saliva production and cause dry mouth.
Some of the main offenders are blood pressure medications, anti-histamines, diuretics and anti-depressants. In fact there are over 600 medications known to affect saliva production.
Understand the Effects of Low Saliva
Adequate saliva in the mouth performs an essential defence and repair role for the teeth.
- It washes away food particles and bacteria and neutralises harmful acids.
- It helps repair and remineralize weak tooth enamel
Without the natural defence mechanism of saliva, plaque and bacteria is able to build up rapidly at the base of the teeth. This in turn leads to bad breath and risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
There is also a major reduction in the ability of the saliva to repair and replace lost minerals in weak tooth enamel.
If your dry mouth persists, and before any of more serious conditions can develop, it is your first priority to talk with your dentist about the best way to treat your symptoms and restore your oral health. More frequent check-ups, or fluoride treatments and sealants may be the recommendation. Of course, you will also be advised to avoid the usual culprits: caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
Be Up With the Most Effective Relief Options
In the short term you can seek relief by using sugar-free candies, mints or gum to encourage the flow of saliva. Allow them to melt slowly in the mouth without chewing.
Additionally you can use a saliva substitute product. Look for one that contains Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. Because of its different chemical composition, Xylitol can actually aid in suppressing bacterial growth, as well as increasing saliva flow.Share