Have you ever felt like your mouth was so dry that it was hard to swallow? While this can be a symptom of dehydration or even certain medications, the medical term for this is xerostomia, or more commonly known as “dry mouth.” In this article, we’ll explore 5 different ways to treat and prevent dry mouth. Let’s get started!
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. This can lead to a number of problems, including difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking. It can also cause an increase in cavities and gum disease.
Causes of Dry Mouth
There are many potential causes of dry mouth, including medications, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices. Often, multiple factors contribute to dry mouth.
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. Some common culprits include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and diuretics. If you think your medication may be causing dry mouth, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible alternatives.
Dry mouth can also be a symptom of certain medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. If you have a chronic condition that causes dry mouth, your doctor may recommend treatments to help relieve your symptoms.
Certain lifestyle choices can also lead to dry mouth. These include smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol. If you suspect that one of your lifestyle choices is causing dry mouth, try making some changes to see if your symptoms improve.
Tips for Prevention
There are a few things you can do to prevent dry mouth:
- Drink plenty of fluids during the day, especially water. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks, which can make dry mouth worse.
- Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy can help stimulate saliva production.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Tobacco products are a leading cause of dry mouth.
- Use a humidifier in your home, particularly in the bedroom, to keep the air moist and reduce dry mouth symptoms at night.
Dry mouth can be an annoying and even painful condition, but fortunately there are ways to treat and prevent it. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding certain foods and drinks that may cause dryness in the mouth, using a humidifier in your bedroom at night, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on hard candy throughout the day, and using over-the-counter saliva substitutes can all help reduce the symptoms associated with dry mouth.
With these tips in mind you should have no trouble keeping your mouth moist! Book appointment with our dentist in Airdrie and learn how you can treat severe dry mouth issues.