Dry Mouth | Causes & Prevention
Do you feel parched all the time? Does your mouth frequently feel as dry as a desert? Dry mouth can be annoying, inconvenient, embarrassing, and often painful. In many cases, dry mouth is nothing to worry about and is simply caused by temporary conditions such as hunger or thirst from missing a meal or drink, nervousness, or stress.
But if dry mouth persists or is already a long-term condition, then it is important to take a serious look into it. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to other dental and health problems. At the same time, it can also be a symptom of another serious health condition. When you have dry mouth, you may experience the following symptoms:
– You have difficulty eating, discerning taste, and speaking.
– You suffer from a burning, rough and/or sticky feeling in the mouth.
– You often experience cracked lips, gum sores, irritated gums and tooth decay.
– You have bad breath that doesn’t go away.
A Couple Causes of Dry Mouth
Decreased saliva flow or insufficient saliva production is the reason why your mouth is dry. Saliva plays an important role in your dental health and digestive processes. It keeps the mouth wet and moisturized so you can speak and move your mouth efficiently. It allows you to chew, taste, swallow and digest food properly. It also protects your teeth from decay and infection, thanks to its ability to cleanse the mouth and reduce bacterial and fungi growth.
Thus, you need to know why there is a lack of sufficient saliva, so you can work toward the proper treatment of your dry mouth. Visit the doctor so you can be examined for the following possible causes:
Medical condition – Medical conditions associated with dry mouth include nerve damage, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, systemic lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical treatments – Some medical procedures can affect the way your body produces saliva including chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Side effect of medication – Hundreds of medicines can make your saliva glands less active. The most common ones are hypertension medicine and medication used for managing depression.
Dry Mouth Treatment and Prevention
Aside from following your dentist and doctor’s treatment plan, you can also reduce dry mouth with some lifestyle changes.
– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
– Reduce your intake of food and beverages with too much salt and sugar.
– Drink lots of water throughout the day.
– Chew sugarless gum to activate the production of saliva.
– Practice good dental hygiene.
Be sure to treat this issue and enjoy better quality of life. Visit your Prescott, AZ dentist regularly for professional care and assessment.