Having dry mouth once in a while is very common in people. It is mostly caused by dehydration or simply sleeping with an open mouth. However, for some people it may be because of a chronic problem. Either way dry mouth may cause people to feel uncomfortable or even less confident in social situations. Current research shows that dry mouth is a common oral health problem and one in four adults suffer from the condition. To help our patients understand what dry mouth is and how to combat these dry mouth problems, we have made a list of facts and tips below.
Top five facts about dry mouth:
- Dry mouth or xerostomia is an oral health condition which affects the flow of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry.
- Saliva has an important role in your mouth. It keeps your mouth moist and helps to break down food and helps you to swallow. Saliva also cleanses your mouth after you eat, as it neutralizes plaque acids, by constantly washing around your mouth and teeth. Thus saliva may prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth clean.
- Having less saliva may interfere with the taste of food and makes it harder to eat dry foods. Sometimes it can affect your speech and it makes people more likely to have bad breath.
- Dry mouth is usually worse at night, as your mouth produces less saliva at night than in the morning.
- Dry mouth can cause the mouth to become sore and there is a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Top five tips to combat dry mouth:
- Ensure you regularly visit your dentist, as when you have a dry mouth you will have higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist should advise you on how often you should visit.
- It is important to use fluoride toothpaste, but keep in mind certain chemicals containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) might make the dry mouth condition worse and irritate the mouth. Refrain from using alcoholic mouthwash.
- There are special products and mouth sprays to help your mouth stay moist and comfortable. These sprays may contain ingredients that might help prevent tooth and gum problems.
- Some people find drinking water or eating sugar-free sweets will help their dry mouth in the short term. It is important to use sugar-free products as dry mouth can make you more likely to have tooth decay.
- Remember to brush your teeth regularly and use mouthwash as needed to prevent the formation of tooth decay or gum disease, as dry mouth will make you more prone to tooth decay
Dry mouth is a very common problem, so don’t be alarmed if you experience this. With that being said, it is important for you to maintain good dental hygiene to prevent dry mouth, and you may want to visit the dentist regularly to prevent any dry mouth problems or get professional dry mouth treatment. Vivid Dental Surgeons wish you a pleasant day ahead! Contact us for more information.