A dry mouth is a uniquely irritating situation. You probably didn’t even realize how much you appreciated your saliva until it was gone. Thankfully, a dry mouth is often just an unpleasant feeling that will go away on its own. However, dry mouth isn’t entirely harmless. Studies show that people this condition are at a higher risk for cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues! If left untreated, a regularly dry mouth could cause serious damage to your teeth. Your dentist in Spring explains what causes dry mouth and the best at home tips for treating it.
The Negative Effects of a Dry Mouth
Your saliva acts as a constant, natural mouthwash. Throughout your day it works on washing away elements that cause cavities, like food particles, sugars, and plaque. Continually rinsing these and the harmful bacteria they contain off your teeth inhibits tooth decay, and the minerals contained within your saliva strengthen your enamel.
When you have dry mouth, that natural defense is gone. Food particles stick around in your teeth much longer, adding even more plaque that builds up and up. With nothing constantly washing it away, the bacteria quickly accumulates to cause cavities and infections.
What Causes Dry Mouth
Sometimes just thinking about it can make you feel like you have a dry mouth. Many things in our daily lives can cause this frustrating ailment, such as:
- Health issues like asthma, allergies, and certain medications.
- Lifestyle choices like using cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, or exercising too much.
- Daily habits like dehydration or bad oral hygiene.
How to Treat Dry Mouth at Home
Thankfully, small changes to your lifestyle and habits can ensure that you rarely get dry mouth. Alongside addressing any issues listed above, try these at-home treatments for dry mouth:
- Suck on sugar-free candy and chew on sugar-free gum to promote saliva production.
- Buy a humidifier to defend your mouth from dry air.
- Try over the counter medications for relief.
While a dry mouth may not cause you serious harm in the short run, it can lead to an increase in tooth decay in the long run. If you often experience this issue, try these at-home remedies or talk to your Spring dentist to protect your oral health!
About the Author
Dr. Clifton Baldwin is a graduate of the UT Dental School-Houston Branch. As a comprehensive dentist, he provides superior care for his patients by focusing on the link between overall health and oral health, which is why his evaluations include identifying issues like acid reflux and dry mouth. If you’d like to learn more about how to treat dry mouth at home, he can be reached at his website or at (281) 893-4746.