Dry mouth can be caused by numerous factors or sometimes just increased age. The most common causes of dry mouth are certain medical conditions such as diabetes, mouth breathing, sleep apnea and even rheumatoid arthritis.
Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s Syndrome and lupus can cause dry mouth. Treatments such as radiation therapy can cause a reduction in saliva in the oral cavity. Certain medications can inhibit saliva production leading to dry mouth as well.
Complications From Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is more than an annoying condition for people who suffer with it. Your saliva acts as a natural cleanser for your mouth. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria, inhibiting tooth decay.
When saliva production is decreased, the risk of developing cavities and gum disease increases. In addition, reduced saliva can increase the risk of developing an oral candida infection (yeast infection).
Patients with dry mouth should see their dentist regularly to examine the teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay or gum disease, since the risk of both is increased for them.
Treatment of Dry Mouth
There are many ways to help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth. Chewing sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production. Avoiding chemicals such as caffeine, tobacco and mouthwash containing alcohol can help alleviate symptoms. Keeping well-hydrated can also help alleviate symptoms of dry mouth. Sip water throughout the day and use a humidifier at night to keep your air passages moist.
Avoid mouth-breathing. Over the counter products, such as Biotene, can also help. Look for a product that is designed to help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. These products are available in many preparations including mouth rinse, oral spray, gum and toothpaste.
For more information about the causes and treatment of dry mouth, contact Park Saratoga Dental.