Dry mouth is a condition where your salivary glands are not making enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. This can be an issue because your salivary glands help to prevent tooth decay by washing away bacteria and food particles from your teeth periodically. Saliva also makes it easier to chew, swallow, digest, and taste.
Dry mouth can be a frustrating condition, but it can also have a major impact on your health. Not only does dry mouth affect your teeth and gums but it can also impact your digestive health, too.
How Do I Know If I Have Dry Mouth?
It's normal for your mouth to be dry occasionally. But if you begin experiencing the following symptoms some or all the time, you might be experiencing dry mouth. These symptoms include:
- Thick or stringy saliva
- Mouth feels sticky or dry
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty speaking
- Hoarse voice or sore throat
- Dry tongue
- Change in taste
- Thick or stringy saliva
What Causes Dry Mouth?
If you've been experiencing the symptoms above for some or all of the time, it's important to consult your doctor. Several health conditions can cause dry mouth including diabetes, stroke, yeast infection, and autoimmune diseases. Dry mouth can also be caused by mouth breathing, snoring, tobacco use, alcohol use, medications, nerve damage, inadequate nutrition, and cancer therapy.
What Are the Complication of Dry Mouth?
Untreated dry mouth can lead to multiple health complications. These complications include increased plaque, gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores. Dry mouth can also cause oral yeast infections (thrush), cracked lips, and split skin at the corners of the mouth. Difficulty chewing and swallowing can also lead to poor nutrition and unhealthy food choices.
What Can I Do to Treat Dry Mouth?
The right treatment for dry mouth ultimately depends on what's causing it. However, there are a few ways you can relieve dry mouth temporarily and reduce the risk of its complications:
- Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing gum can help to stimulate the flow of saliva. However, even if chewing gum doesn't motivate your salivary glands, the xylitol in sugar-free gum helps to fight back against bacteria in your mouth.
- Limit how much caffeine you drink. Drinking coffee, tea, and energy drinks that are high in caffeine can make your mouth drier. Instead, reduce your caffeine intake and sip on water throughout the day.
- Start using a plaque removing dental gel. Because your mouth isn't producing the saliva you need to wash bacteria away from your teeth, dry mouth can cause increased plaque. Plaque starts to turn into tartar within 24 hours. This can make cavity pain worse and put you at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, you can use a plaque removal dental gel to keep plaque at bay and to keep it from turning into tartar.
If you're experiencing cavity pain and plaque buildup due to dry mouth, LivFresh Dental Gel can help to keep your teeth fresh and clean. To learn more about how our dental gel can help you fight back against plaque and cavity pain, contact us today.