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Dental Effects Of Dry Mouth: Consequences, Causes, and Treatments

Jan 8, 2018

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, affects almost 10% of the elder US population. It results from the decreased production of saliva in the mouth which leads to difficulty in speaking, eating, and digesting food.

It can lead to other dental issues which increase the oral health issues and lead to a poor quality of life.

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of dry mouth, understand its consequences, and learn how to treat this inconvenient dental condition.

Causes of Dry Mouth

Mouth With Tongue Sticking Out To Show Dry Mouth

Mouth Breathing

If you have a dry mouth especially after waking up, it’s likely that you sleep with your mouth open. Breathing through the mouth exacerbates the dryness. Visit a doctor to discover the underlying issue. You might be suffering from sleep apnea, allergies or a deviated septum which causes you to sleep with an open mouth.

Smoking Or Chewing Tobacco

Studies have shown how the increased use of tobacco and smoking can decrease the production of saliva and leads to a dry mouth.

Stress

Research has shown that stress can lead to temporary dry mouth. If the dry mouth persists for more than a few days, visit your dentist for a thorough checkup to rule out other dental conditions.

Dehydration

People often overlook the signs of dehydration until it becomes severe. Studies have shown that if you’re feeling thirsty, that’s your body’s way of saying that it’s already dehydrated.

Chemo And Radiation

Research has shown that medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can decrease the production of saliva and lead to dry mouth.

Prescription Drugs

Drugs such as antihistamines, cannabinoids, and antidepressants are known to cause dry mouth.

Disease

A common symptom of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes is dry mouth as it disrupts the salivary flow in patients.

Consequences of Dry Mouth

Cavities

You might think that cavities are only formed due to increased sugar intake, soda consumption, and poor oral hygiene.

However, a dry mouth also leads to the development of cavities. The saliva in your mouth protects the teeth against acidic food and drinks by washing away the bacteria and preventing cavities.

Lack of saliva disrupts the pH balance of the mouth as the acid production increases and causes cavities to multiply.

Mouth Sores

Lip Sore

Painful mouth sores can occur due to dry mouth. Lack of saliva causes dehydrated oral tissues which lead to oral infections and sores inside the cheek, upper and lower lip.

Poor Nutrition

A dry mouth causes difficulty in swallowing. It leads to poor nutrition as your food intake decreases. The presence of bad bacteria in your mouth affects the balance of bacteria in your gut which leads to digestive issues.

How To Treat Dry Mouth

Learn To Nose Breathe

Seek medical help if you have a habit of breathing with your mouth open. A therapist will help uncover the root cause of your mouth breathing. With the help of exercises, the therapist will work to retain the muscles of mouth and lips so that they may rest closed at night.

Avoid Foods That Dry Out THe Mouth

Stay away from crusty bread, citrus fruit, spicy and salty food, crackers and chips. Avoid eating food high in sugar and acid content. Not only are they difficult to swallow with a dry mouth, but they also worsen the condition.

Hydrate

Drink more than 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Avoid hot beverages like coffee and caffeinated teas that cause hydration and that may scald mouth tissues.

Visit The Dentist

You might not even know you’re suffering from dry mouth. If you’re experiencing difficulty swallowing and speaking, increased thirst, increased cavity, bad breath, and a persistent dry mouth, visit a dentist immediately. Discuss the discomfort or pain experienced due to a dry mouth.

If you’re looking for a dental office in Panorama City, head over to our clinic. We have some of the best professional dentists ready to offer their expert advice on how to deal with your dental issues.

Contact Dentalville Panorama City for a brighter and healthier smile!