The Causes of Dry Mouth and How to Prevent It

The Causes of Dry Mouth and How to Prevent It

Nov 03, 2020

Saliva is important and often disregarded. It is essential for mouth and body functions. Salivamakes chewing and eating easier and protects the oral tissues from ulcers, tooth decay, and other bacterial or viral infections. Lack of enough saliva in your mouth results in dry mouth, which should be considered a serious health condition. You should never associate dry mouth with aging. Your doctor will request to know your medical history and any medications you are taking to diagnose the condition.

However, tests such as imaging of salivary glands, blood tests, or biopsy will be done on your lips and salivary glands if the medical expert suspects that you have Sjogren’s syndrome. Should you suspect that you have a dry mouth, visit our dentist in Venice for a checkup.

Reasons for having Dry Mouth

The causes that could make you have a dry mouth are:

Working or Playing Under the Hot Sun. If you work forlong hours under the sun, you are likely to be dehydrated. Your body fluids will be used in trying to cool your body off by sweating. This limits the level of saliva production in your mouth. Take a lot of water even when you are not outdoors to prevent dry mouth.

Cancer. Radiation to your head or neck will damage your salivary glands resulting in minimal saliva production. The drugs used in chemotherapy treatment may result in a drier mouth by making the saliva thicker.

Medication. Reduced saliva production is sometimes a side effect of certaindrugs. You will continue experiencing dry mouth as long as you are taking these medications. Antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, steroids, and anti-inflammatories are examples of the drugs that can result in a dry oral cavity.

Diseases and disorders. There is decreased salivary production if you have a salivary gland infection or stones. Other health complications that could alter the gland’s ability are eating disorders, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes,and sleep apnea.

Injury. An injury’s occurrence can damage the nerves responsible for inducing saliva production by the salivary glands.

Symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, visit Dr. Steven Feldman for a checkup.

  • Headaches, dizziness, and dry eyes
  • Difficulties in chewing or swallowing accompanied by an altered taste of food
  • Dry or sore throat with a frequent need to drink water or fluids to help you swallow. You will also experience hoarseness while speaking as a result of the sore and dry throat.
  • Dryness at the corners of your mouth or cracked lips
  • Nausea and bad breath
  • Mouth sores due to insufficient mouth lubrication
  • Pale, bleeding gums, and periodontitis may also occur.

How to Prevent Dry Mouth

One can prevent mouth drynessby following some of the following tips:

Hydrate. Dehydration is one of the causes of dry mouth. Sip water regularly to moist your mouth and get rid of mild dehydration. While outdoors, get yourself a bottle of water for easy access to drinking water.

Avoid inhaling air via your mouth. Breathing through themouth will cause not only a dry mouth but also other oral complications.

Proper oral hygiene. Poor oral health causes dry mouths. Brushing and flossing twice a day will not only improve your dental health but also prevent dry mouth and its symptoms such as cracked lips or bad breath.

Avoid some medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications. However, you should not stop taking them if they are professionally prescribed.Do consult your doctor on what you should do to prevent complications.

Use of a humidifier. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of dry mouth. The use of a humidifier while sleeping will reduce the chances of getting a dry mouth and improving your sleep.

Use of herbal remedies. Herbslike ginger are known to stimulate saliva production, while aloe vera and marshmallow roots act as mouth moisturizers, reducing the possibility of you getting dry mouth.

Avoid unhealthy habits. Habits such as drinking caffeine, alcohol, smoking tobacco, or taking too much sugar will result in dehydration leading to dry mouth. Make a habit of sucking ice cubes, moisturizing your lips using Vaseline, or start taking and chewing sugar-free candies and gums.