Is Constant Dry Mouth Bad for Your Teeth?
Dry mouth, when it is constant, can have a bad effect on your dental health. This is a problem today because many medications have this side effect. Also, certain diseases can make your mouth feel dry, such as diabetes, AIDS, anemia, stroke, hypertension and alcoholism. In addition, people going through chemotherapy or radiation may also deal with it as a result of the treatment.
Having dry mouth puts you at risk because saliva helps fight bacteria. Saliva helps you digest food and it helps to reduce acid and re-mineralize your teeth. When your mouth is too dry, it can lead to thrush, which is a fungal infection. Wearing dentures may become difficult, and your teeth can become more prone to decay.
What Can You Do for Relief?
The Mayo Clinic recommends some of the following guidelines to help relieve dry mouth:
- Sugarless gum or candies. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar free candies may stimulate your mouth to produce saliva. Be aware that xylitol (a sugar substitute) causes some people to experience cramping and diarrhea if used in large amounts.
- Caffeine avoidance. Caffeine can be dehydrating and make your mouth drier.
- Alcohol-free mouthwashes. Use alcohol free mouthwashes, which also help you to avoid the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
- Tobacco avoidance. Stop chewing tobacco or smoking because it can dry out your mouth.
- Water intake.Sip water often.
- No antihistamines.Quit taking antihistamines and decongestants because they increase dry mouth symptoms.
- Breathing. Breathe through your nose instead of breathing through your mouth.
- Humidifier. Turn on a humidifier at night while you sleep.
If you notice your mouth drying out as a side effect of one of your medications, consult with your doctor about using a different medication.
Check with Your Dentist if You’re Having Dental Issues
At Hutto Hippo Family Dental our dentists are glad to help you with dental care or answer any questions you may have.