Feel like your mouth reminds you of a desert? If it’s a frequent problem that you’re experiencing, it could be a result of dry mouth—also known as xerostomia. Sound familiar? Here’s what you can do to pinpoint its cause.
The Importance of Saliva
Symptoms of dry mouth can go beyond just feeling parched and include tooth decay, cracked or dry lips, dryness in the throat, bad breath and problems swallowing food. When saliva production slows, it can wreak havoc on your teeth leading to plaque buildup and leftover bacteria from foods as it won’t be washed away like usual. Because saliva acts as a “natural mouthwash” in its absence the teeth become susceptible to oral diseases like gingivitis.
Causes of Dry Mouth
To help narrow the cause of your dry mouth, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions like:
- Am I drinking enough water throughout the day? Try tracking your water intake to make sure you’re reaching the recommended daily intake. If not, add more glasses to your day to see if it makes a difference.
- Have I started taking any new medications? From blood pressure pills to antihistamines, there are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce saliva production.
- Am I a smoker? Smokers often experience dry mouth, which can come on at any stage during the habit.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth and are unsure what could be causing it, contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.