Cause, Effect, And Prevention Of Dry Mouth

22 August, 2017

HAVE YOU EVER woken up with your mouth feeling like a barren desert? Then you’ve probably experienced dry mouth, although it can be even more severe, making it difficult to speak or even eat. Dry mouth affects a tenth of the population, but why is it such a problem, why does it happen, and what can we do about it?

In The Absence Of Saliva…

Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria, bad breath, and tooth decay. It washes away leftover food particles and neutralizes acids, protecting our teeth and gums. Consequently, when there isn’t enough saliva to perform all of these important tasks, the result is much more serious than just an unpleasant sandpaper feeling.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth has numerous causes, including smoking, drinking, dehydration, and even aging. Sometimes the salivary glands can be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But the most common cause is ordinary medication. Over 400 medications include dry mouth on their lists of side effects. If you’ve been suffering medication-related dry mouth, come talk to us about options like switching to different medication or changing the dosage.

Good Habits To Prevent Or Reduce Dry Mouth

For particularly severe dry mouth, artificial saliva could provide relief and protect your teeth from decay, but there are also a few good habits that can minimize the problem.

Nose Breathing

Avoid breathing through your mouth—whether you’re awake or asleep. Even for people with fully functioning salivary glands, mouth breathing is going to result in a much drier mouth than nose breathing. For that—and many other health reasons—it’s important to breathe through your nose whenever possible, including during sleep.

Hydration

Stay hydrated. Your salivary glands can’t produce saliva if you’re not drinking enough water, and even if saliva production is impeded for other reasons, regularly sipping water can help eliminate the dry mouth feeling.

Stimulate Saliva Production

Sugar-free gum and candy encourage your salivary glands to up their production, particularly if the flavor is citrus, mint, or cinnamon. (Bonus points: sugar-free gum is also good for your teeth, because it starves the bacteria that feed on sugar!)

Choose Your Mouthwash Carefully

Mouthwash containing alcohol may undo its own positive germ-killing effects by drying out your mouth! Just like drinking alcoholic beverages has a dehydrating effect on the body, swishing alcoholic liquid around will specifically dehydrate the mouth! Make sure you choose a non-alcoholic mouthwash.

Don’t Smoke

As smoking is one of the common causes of dry mouth, not smoking is an obvious solution. The same goes for dry mouth caused by alcohol intake.

We Can Beat Dry Mouth Together!

Dry mouth can pose a serious threat to your oral health, so aside from following these good habits, one of the best things you can do if you experience it is to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll be able to identify the cause and make a plan to put an end to that sandpaper feeling!

We love to fight for your dental health!

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About Us

Since 1984, University Dental Professionals has been providing exceptional dental care here in Chicago. Located in Hyde Park, directly across from the Museum of Science and Industry, our location has made it convenient for our patients from throughout Chicagoland and Northern Indiana. Focused on our mission to provide the best dental services possible, our doctors utilize the most advanced state-of-the-art technologies to customize their approach, one patient at a time. As a team, we are committed to collaborating with each other to ensure the best treatment options.

Our very own in office UDP dental plan reflects our philosophical approach to prevention and oral health. With more and more studies showing the systemic effects of poor oral health, our dental plan is 100% based on prevention and maintaining your oral health. The core of our plan is our hygiene recall system and our ongoing educational pursuits keep our hygiene team at the forefront of oral health. Each and every provider participates in our UDP plan, to offer our patients the best in services and reasonable fees without any limitations.

Our experienced doctors are leaders and innovators in dentistry. They are educators, authors and well-respected clinicians highly skilled in Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, All on 4 ProceduresBotox, Dental Sleep Appliances, Invisalign, and far more. Implementing digital and laser dentistry allows our patients the latest in comfortable and high-quality dentistry.

Value and Trust based…. come see what sets our team apart.

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