If you’ve had too much to drink, you wake up the following morning with a dry mouth. Now, picture that same feeling as a chronic condition; no matter how much water you drink, or how much you rinse, you always feel your mouth dry. This is not a fantasy, dry mouth is a real condition which, aside from the annoying feel, has some very important consequences for your oral health.
What causes dry mouth?
Dry mouth occurs when there is an issue with your saliva glands; leading to a reduced production of saliva. Keep in mind that a dry mouth doesn’t simply happen, there is always a reason. For example, some of the most common causes are stress, anxiety, and other related psychological conditions. Certain medicines you take or treatments are also related to mouth dryness, for example chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Finally, certain diseases can also produce mouth dryness; like Sjorgren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease in which white cells attack moisture producing glands, affecting the salivary glands and your eyes.
Finally, if you smoke, drink a lot, or use drugs, then is quite possible you might suffer from dry mouth.
Why is it important?
Aside from the raspy and dry feeling, mouth dryness has adverse effects on your oral health. Without saliva, food residue finds it easier to nest and become tartar; also, remember that saliva is a natural anti-septic, that is, with less saliva, there is a higher risk of cavities and infection.
Also, if you suffer from dry mouth you may experience mouth bleeding, swollen gums, and mouth scrapes.
How to deal with dry mouth
To cure your dry mouth, you have to figure out and deal with the main cause. Some sources are easy to deal with, while others will require an extensive; or in the case of chronic diseases, are not treatable at all.
For example, if the problem is a certain medicine you are taking; then your doctor can give you a different recipe. If it’s due to a psychological condition, relaxation and meditation will alleviate the symptoms. In the case of substance abuse or bad behaviors, you have to make an effort to change them.
In some cases, changing your medication or treating the root cause, may not be possible; thankfully, modern medicine has developed treatments which may alliviate the symptons, such as artificial saliva, or saliva-inducing medicine such as Evoxac or Salogen.
If you believe that you are experiencing dry mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately.