A condition known as dry mouth is fairly common, and has some common causes. It can be really uncomfortable, and can also pose a threat to your dental health. Here are some tips from Victor H. Burdick Jr. DDS in Littleton CO.
The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, which is pronounced zero-STO-me-ah. Some of its causes include:
- Medications: It’s a common side effect of some drugs, which is a really good reason to read the labels.
- Lifestyle Choices: Physical exertion coupled with improper hydration can result in dry mouth. So can smoking or chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol. That includes using alcohol-based mouthwash; another good reason to read labels.
- Aging: Estrogen, for example, drops in women after menopause, which may be linked to dry mouth.
- Asthma: Inhalers can result in dry mouth. So can mouth breathing, which is often seen in people with asthma.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Dry mouth can be a symptom of Type 2 diabetes, which means it can affect your overall health and is definitely worth mentioning to both your dentist and your general practice.
Dry Mouth and Dental Health
One of the key functions of saliva is washing food debris from the mouth, and fighting the bacteria that cause cavities. A reduced saliva flow leaves you vulnerable to tooth decay, as well as gum disease, difficulty with swallowing, and a condition called burning mouth syndrome.
The most obvious solution to dry mouth is to drink more water. That often does the trick, but not always. You can also avoid salty foods, beverages with caffeine and/or alcohol, and smoking.
Another good idea is to try artificial saliva. You can find it in most drug stores, and it comes in several forms, including an oral spray, swabs, dissolving tablets, and gel.
Above all, be sure to tell us about it at Victor H. Burdick Jr. DDS in Littleton CO. We can make a recommendation that is best for you. People from Ken Caryl, Englewood, and Centennial trust us with their dental health, and come to our office for general and restorative dentistry. Contact us today!