A dry mouth is a condition characterized by a lack of saliva. It is one of the most common problems that affect the oral cavity. Saliva contains a number of minerals, proteins, and other components that maintain the health of the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth. When you have a dry mouth, it affects the ability of the saliva to carry out its functions.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY MOUTH?
- Dryness in the mouth, especially on the tongue and inner lining of the cheeks
- Constant bad breath
- The formation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gum line
- Teeth discoloration
- Oral infections like cavities, periodontitis
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DRY MOUTH?
Dry mouth is mostly a result of reduced saliva production. It can be caused due to a number of reasons, such as:
- Excess consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Smoking cigarettes
- Chewing tobacco
- Caffeine consumption
- Certain medications
- Lifestyle habits such as frequent snacking,
- Consuming foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates
- Prolonged periods of sleep
- Low immunity level
- Excessive stress
- Hormonal issues
HOW CAN YOU MANAGE A DRY MOUTH?
Dry mouth can be managed using lifestyle changes and by using medications as per the recommendation of your dentist. Listed below are a few ways by which you can manage a dry mouth.
- Quit smoking
- Quit chewing tobacco
- Cut down on your alcohol consumption
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Ease your stress level
- Avoid frequent snacking
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day
- Use saliva substitutes to stimulate saliva production
- Use fluoride-based toothpaste to strengthen teeth
- Use dental appliances that generate suction to increase saliva production
HOW CAN WE TREAT DRY MOUTH?
Dentists recommend several ways for patients to treat dry mouth. Patients can stop smoking and chewing tobacco to get rid of dry mouth as these habits reduce saliva production. They can also reduce their consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugary foods to control dry mouth. Saliva substitutes can be used to stimulate saliva production.
Patients should make it a habit to brush their teeth twice a day and floss properly to keep dental diseases at bay. Patients with low immunity levels are advised to visit their dentists more often for scaling and root planing procedures.
To know more about dry mouth, visit us at Helena, MT, or call us at (406) 443-6160 to schedule an appointment with the dentist and we will be happy to help.