Salivary glands are located throughout many places in your mouth and their steady flow of saliva helps to keep your mouth moist and healthy at all times! This superfluid aids in killing harmful bacteria and pathogens, protecting your teeth from acids, and preventing and rebuilding damage with its calcium content. Because of this if you are experiencing constant symptoms of dry mouth such as thick saliva, a dry rough tongue, or cracked and chapped lips you will likely be at a much higher risk of tooth decay and oral disease. In today’s post we will cover possible causes for dry mouth, and tips to combat it!
Possible Causes / Treatments
Simply not drinking enough fluid will cause you to have a dry mouth. Ensure you are consistently intaking enough water throughout the day. A good rule is a glass of water at least every 2 hours, more if you are partaking in strenuous activities.
Salivary Duct Blockages:
Small minerals can build up in your salivary ducts and restrict the flow of saliva. Sometimes these will pass naturally, but larger stones can be treated with minor surgery.
If allergy season has hit and you find yourself with a stuffy nose, breathing through your mouth tends to dry it out quickly. Besides just allergies people do this unconsciously at night and there are a plethora of options to assist in keeping your mouth closed while you are asleep.
Certain Drugs & Medications:
A plethora of drugs are known to cause dry mouth. Over 600 drugs such as certain antihistamines, decongestants, sedatives, pain relief drugs, and illegal narcotics can cause dry mouth. If you suspect a medication is causing you dry mouth consider discussing the side effect with your doctor and they may be able to alter your dose or change your prescription.
Certain Medical Conditions & Illnesses:
Many conditions can lead to temporary or chronic dry mouth. For those who can not produce saliva naturally there are many options such as saliva substitutes, dry mouth and dental products, or specific treatments to address the underlying condition.
If you are living with dry mouth there are several things you can do to protect your oral health. Consistent brushing and flossing are essential as always, but a high fluoride product will be especially helpful in protecting dry and vulnerable teeth. Make sure to visit your dentist regularly to ensure they can catch any issues early and help to control any prior dental damage.