Dry Mouth & Your Oral Health
Having a dry mouth can be one of the most uncomfortable feelings. Not only can dry mouth be bothersome enough to cause mental distress, it can also result in more serious dental problems if not properly treated. Below is some more information about the causes and treatments for dry mouth.
Dry mouth can occur for a variety of reasons. You might notice that you’re simply not drinking enough water during the day. This can leave your lips looking dry and cracked. Alcohol can also make your mouth feel unusually dry and uncomfortable. Additionally, as you’ve probably heard from countless television ads for prescription medications, dry mouth or chronic dry mouth is a very common side effect. Anxiety is another typical cause of dry mouth. This explains why you experience this symptom if you’ve ever felt like you needed a glass of water before a big speech or presentation.
A more serious cause of extreme dry mouth is an autoimmune condition called Sjogren's syndrome. This is when your body’s white blood cells attack healthy cells that normally produce tears and saliva. Without them, you may experience difficulty swallowing as well as dry eyes.
If your dry mouth is being caused by dehydration, it’s important to find a way that works for you to ensure that you get enough water each day. Keep a water bottle at your desk so that you’ll be reminded. There are also numerous health apps available for your smartphone to help you track your water consumption. You could also make an effort to eat more water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. As far as stress-induced dry mouth, try taking more time for yourself to wind-down during the day. Deep breathing and exercising are great stress relievers.
Treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome can range from applying artificial tears or eye drops to your eyes to taking saliva producing medications. If you think that you might have this condition, it’s best to contact your doctor as soon as possible for advice and assistance.
Effects on Oral Health
Saliva plays an important role in keeping your teeth free of debris and other harmful build-up. Constant dry mouth could lead to gum problems and tooth decay if not treated properly. If you’re experiencing this uncomfortable symptom, talk to your doctor and make an appointment with your dentist to ensure that no damage has been done to your teeth.
Call Mitthoeffer Dental today at (317) 897-5093, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Coffman, your top dentist near Lawrence, IN.