Dry mouth endangers your oral health. Without enough saliva to rinse away bacteria and food particles, your teeth become more vulnerable to decay, and you become more likely to have bad breath. Moreover, dry mouth is downright uncomfortable. It can make it difficult to articulate your speech, and you might even feel like you have cotton balls stuck in your mouth. What causes this problem, and is there anything you can do about it? Your dentist in Ocala is here to discuss these important questions.
Causes of Dry Mouth
There are quite a few possible causes of dry mouth. Certain medications, such as antidepressants and antihistamine, are among the primary culprits behind this issue. In fact, according to one estimate, up to 90 percent of cases of dry mouth are somehow related to medications. Other possible causes of dry mouth include:
- Cancer treatment
- Some chronic health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes
- Inadequate water intake
- Excessive sugar or salt consumption
- Habitual mouth-breathing
Conquering Dry Mouth
Treating dry mouth often begins with identifying the cause behind the problem. For example, if a medication is the issue, you may need to take to your physician about finding a different medication that won’t cause your mouth to dry out. If your mouth is dry because you have a sinus condition that cause you to breathe through your mouth, you may need medication or surgery to make it easier for you to take in air through your nose.
Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, however, there are things you can do on a daily basis to encourage saliva production and fight that cotton-ball feeling:
- Sip plenty of room-temperature water throughout the day
- Limit your intake of sugary and salty foods
- If you smoke, do your best to quit
- Use a mouth rinse that is designed to address dry mouth
- Chew gum or suck on sugar-free candy
- Avoid coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine
- Limit your consumption of alcohol
- Always have a sugar-free drink with your meals
How Your Dentist Can Help
As we’ve already discussed, there are plenty of steps you can take by yourself to battle dry mouth. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your family dentist in Ocala about the problem. They can examine your teeth and make sure that your dry mouth hasn’t already led to decay. They can also give you personalized tips on how to combat the problem of your dry mouth. For example, they might recommend or even prescribe a specific mouth rinse to encourage saliva production.
Dry mouth is an uncomfortable problem that places your oral health in danger. If you are suffering from this issue, please take steps to address it. Your smile will thank you!
About the Dentist
Throughout his years of experience in dentistry, Dr. Daniel Weldon has helped countless patients to address their oral health problems and realize their smile’s true potential. If you have a dry mouth or other concerns about your teeth and gums, please contact our office at 352-622-3236.