If you are consistently suffering from a dry mouth, this can have worse consequences than just giving you that uncomfortable feeling in your mouth. Because saliva is vital for oral hygiene, a dry mouth can negatively impact your oral health. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. So what’s causing this and how do you treat dry mouth?
Identifying the Cause
The first important step in treating dry mouth is finding out what is causing it. Some common causes of dry mouth include: certain medication, salivary gland damage caused by cancer treatments (e.g. chemotherapy and radiation) and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Sjörgen’s syndrome.
To find out what’s causing your dry mouth you should consult your doctor. If medication that you’re taking is causing your dry mouth, your doctor might be able to prescribe you an alternate drug. If on the other hand your dry mouth is caused by a disease that you’re already undergoing treatment for, or your salivary gland has been permanently damaged, you’ll only be able to tackle the symptoms.
Treating Your Dry Mouth
Saliva forms an important aspect of maintaining a healthy mouth. It helps with chewing, swallowing and digesting food, keeping your mouth clean. To treat dry mouth you should:
- Drink plenty of water during the day, and keep a glass next to you at night
- Primarily eat moist foods
- Steer clear of salty foods and sugary drinks
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine-rich drinks
- Stop smoking
If you suffer from dry mouth, it is very important that you brush and floss regularly and have a check up with a dentist every 6 months. Your dentist might also advise that you use an artificial saliva product.