Do you ever feel like your mouth and The Sahara Desert have something in common?
If so, you are not alone. Over 25 million Americans suffer from dry mouth. And it’s not just the discomfort of dry mouth (called “xerostomia” by dentists) that is the problem; it is often accompanied by trouble chewing and swallowing, difficulty in speaking, a rise in dental cavities and gum disease, and most noticeably to some, bad breath.
So why do so many of us have what is often referred to as “cottonmouth?”
What Causes Dry Mouth?
According to The Food and Drug Administration, over 400 medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can lead to dry mouth. It is also caused by mouth breathing, dehydration (drink your water!!), and lack of salivary flow due to aging. In rare instances, dry mouth may be caused by an underlying serious disease-so it is not something to take lightly.
Reducing the Symptoms of Dry Mouth
There are several things you can do to help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth, including:
- Chewing sugar-free gum containing Xylitol
- Drinking plenty of water
- Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth
- Frequent brushing and rinsing with fluoride toothpaste and mouthrinse such as Biotene
- Using a room vaporizer to humidify the air in your home
- Using an over-the-counter saliva substitute such as Stoppers which we carry in our office.
Since dry mouth can also be a sign of a serious illness and cause an increase in cavities and gum disease, excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits are a must. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call our office at 920-725-0400 for an appointment or visit our website at www.brownfamilydentistry.com. Your health is important to us and we are here to help you.