Tips to Fight Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, medically known as xerostomia, is not a disease in itself but rather a symptom of an underlying medical disorder or side effect of certain medications. It results from an inadequate flow of saliva, which plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of oral tissues and preventing tooth decay.

Tips to Fight Dry Mouth

The Role of Saliva

Saliva is the mouth’s natural first layer of protection against tooth decay. It rinses away food particles and other debris and neutralizes acids created by oral bacteria. These functions help saliva reduce the number of microbes in the mouth that might lead to dental problems.

Inadequate saliva production can cause several problems, including a sore throat, burning in the mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or a hoarse voice. In severe cases like Sjögren’s syndrome—an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands—extensive tooth decay can occur due to a lack of saliva.

Preventive Dentistry for Dry Mouth

Fortunately, preventive dentistry offers various methods to manage dry mouth symptoms effectively and maintain good oral hygiene despite reduced salivary flow. You can complement the natural efforts of oral cleanliness with proper teeth brushing and flossing. Then, you can eliminate harmful residues to keep your smile looking and feeling its best.

However, you should not ignore dry mouth. A dentist can identify and treat cases of chronic dry mouth. But you can manage this symptom on your own in some mild cases.

One simple solution is stimulating saliva production through sugar-free candy or gum. Chewing stimulates salivary glands and increases saliva flow, providing temporary relief from dryness.

Artificial saliva products are another effective option for managing dry mouth symptoms. These products mimic real saliva and help keep your mouth moist when natural salivation isn’t sufficient. Oral rinses specifically designed for dry mouths also provide significant relief by moisturizing tissue surfaces directly with their hydrating ingredients while simultaneously reducing bad breath often associated with xerostomia.

Dry mouth can also develop as a symptom of dehydration. When your body lacks water, it cannot generate enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day to maintain adequate levels of hydration.

Sometimes, your environment can contribute to dry mouth. If you spend time in a room with dry air, it can dry out your mouth as a result. Consider using a humidifier to introduce moisture if you cannot avoid a dry room.

Contact a Dentist for Treatment of Chronic Dry Mouth

At-home dry mouth management will only alleviate symptoms without addressing underlying causes. If you’re experiencing persistent issues with dry mouth, it’s crucial to seek a professional dental consultation.

While dry mouth can be an uncomfortable and often distressing condition, preventive dentistry offers various solutions to manage its symptoms effectively. Regular appointments with your dentist are critical to monitor oral health status and receive personalized advice for managing conditions like xerostomia.

Remember that your dentist knows your smile best. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re experiencing any discomfort or have questions about maintaining good oral hygiene.