Understanding Dry Mouth

Understanding Dry Mouth

Dealing with dry mouth? You’re not alone. It affects as many as 65% of people at some point in their lives, and most have to see someone in family dentistry for help. But what causes it and how can you get some relief?

Understanding Dry Mouth

Also known as Xerostomia, dry mouth occurs when you don’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is essential to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth can occur for many reasons. While adults are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, it is possible for kids to experience the condition, too.

Causes of Dry Mouth

There are many causes of dry mouth. The following are just a few:

  • Fluid loss from illness or being overheated
  • Breathing through your mouth
  • Certain medications, like those for allergies
  • Some medical conditions, such as diabetes

Learning the Signs

Here are some common signs of dry mouth:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Cracked lips
  • Sores around and in the mouth
  • A dry feeling in the mouth or throat
  • Difficulty swallowing

Habits that Promote Saliva Flow

Saliva is important to the health of your mouth, which is why dry mouth needs attention. Some habits can help increase your saliva flow. Be sure you:

  • Maintain a healthy oral routine 
  • Breathe through your nose
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoid salty foods
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Choose water-rich fruits and vegetables as your snacks of choice
  • Double-check your medication side-effects and talk to your doctor

Getting Help for Dry Mouth

Understanding dry mouth and how to prevent it can help you avoid a visit to a family dentistry office. But there may be a time when you need to see your dentist if your dry mouth goes on for too long. That’s why it’s important to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.

Nicholas Jansen