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Common Causes of Dry Mouth

Published on May 21st, 2020

Dry mouth is a frustrating sensation that many people can cure by simply taking a sip of water. However, did you know that suffering from constant dry mouth is a problem that many Americans face on a daily basis? This condition is known as xerostomia; some causes of it aren’t troublesome, but it can be cause for concern in some cases. Here are some causes of dry mouth from our dentist in Bloomingdale and West Loop.

Medication

The daily medication that you take may result in persistent dry mouth. Certain medications that treat anxiety, depression, allergies and high blood pressure are known to cause dry mouth. Medications such as muscle relaxers and painkillers are also known to cause dry mouth. The pharmacologic effects result in a decrease in saliva production and result in overall dehydration. To combat this, make sure to drink plenty of water. If possible, talk to your doctor about switching to a medication that doesn’t result in dry mouth.

Dehydration

One of the most common causes of dry mouth is overall dehydration. Simply not drinking enough water can result in your mouth feeling overly dry. Thankfully, this frustrating problem can be easily fixed by drinking more water. As a general guideline, healthcare professionals recommend drinking eight 8-ounce cups of water every day. Make sure to stay hydrated each and every day!

Nerve Damage

If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in nerve damage, dry mouth could be a side effect. There are certain nerves located in and around your head and neck that control your saliva production. If these are damaged, your mouth could become naturally dry.

Age

As you get older, you may find yourself experiencing dry mouth increasingly often. Our bodies change as we age; plus, if you have been taking medication on a consistent basis, this could increase your chances of suffering from dry mouth.

Alcohol & Tobacco Use

Our dentist in Bloomingdale and West Loop recommends cutting down on alcohol and tobacco use to reduce the chance of developing dry mouth. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it very quickly leads to dehydration. After a night out drinking, consuming enough water to help combat your body’s dehydration is key to feeling better. Additionally, the nicotine found in tobacco naturally reduces the flow of your saliva.

How Dry Mouth Impacts Oral Health

Dry mouth is more than an inconvenience and an uncomfortable sensation. Your mouth needs to have the right amount of saliva to protect its enamel. Excessive and persistent dry mouth can result in gingivitis, tooth decay and infections.

Treating Dry Mouth

Besides drinking more water, dry mouth can be treated by chewing sugar-free gum, brushing using fluoride toothpaste, and even using a humidifier in your home. Make sure to contact our dentist in Bloomingdale or West Loop if your dry mouth isn’t improving, we are always here to help!

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