You might have experienced your mouth drying during your thesis presentation at school or during an employment interview or when your boss calls you for a closed-door conversation. Those moments make you feel anxious or nervous, which results in a dry mouth, and that’s pretty normal.
But for dry mouth to recur or happen for a prolonged period, this could be a sign of serious health problems. Moreso, a dry mouth is risky for your dental health. It is bad for your teeth and oral hygiene.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, medically known as “Xerostomia” is a condition where the salivary glands don’t make enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth is caused by aging, medication side effects, toxicity from treatments, autoimmune disease and other medical conditions.
Why is Dry Mouth Bad for Your Teeth?
When your mouth gets dry, it can be a home to thousands of bacteria that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, canker sore and gum diseases. Your saliva is supposed to cleanse your mouth and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. When it runs dry, it’s surely a threat to your oral health.
Dr. Taj Haynes of Modern Family Dental Care offers effective ways to treat dry mouth in this video.
Dry Mouth Treatments
Medicines used to treat diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension are known to have side effects that cause dry mouth. If dry mouth happens, the doctor or dentist will consider changing the medication or adjust its dosage.
But for medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, which are necessary and can’t be changed, the doctor or dentist can prescribe medicines or supplements to increase saliva production and flow.
Moisturizing Products for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be helped with artificial saliva products that soothe and moist the mouth. These products are usually available over-the-counter. There are specially formulated toothpaste, mouthwash and moisturizing gels for dry mouth.
Good Oral Hygiene
Commit to regular oral hygiene when dry mouth happens. It’s a must! A decrease in saliva production can cause tooth decay and gum disease, so you should counter its effects by paying extra attention to your oral habits.
- Regular brushing of your teeth at least twice a day. Toothpaste with fluoride is preferred.
- Flossing is recommended to remove food debris in between the teeth.
- Frequent gargling to rinse and clean the mouth.
When experiencing dry mouth:
- Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated.
- Chew sugar-free gums with Xylitol.
- Limit caffeine intake.
- Avoid mouthwashes with alcohol.
- Stop tobacco use and alcoholic beverage intake.
- Breathe with your nose and not with your mouth.
A regular dental check-up not only helps treat dry mouth but also prevents it from happening. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year as recommended by the American Dental Association and doing regular teeth cleaning can prevent dry mouth.
During your visit, your dentist might prescribe to you mouth moisturizing products or recommend you to use a fluoride rinse or gel.
Get Professional Help
You might have an underlying medical condition that’s causing your dry mouth. If you suspect one, reach out to your doctor immediately to address your issue.
If your dry mouth is causing you teeth trouble, it is best to visit your dentist for a consultation.
Modern Family Dental Care in Charlotte is always ready to help you with your dry mouth and with any other dental concerns. We have three locations in North Carolina that are ready to take care of you. Book your appointment today!
Modern Family Dental Care is committed to building a long-term partnership with our patients. We listen to your concerns and provide personalized and proper treatments. We have complete dental services and are equipped with up-to-date dental technology to address your various concerns.