For many people dry mouth isn’t something they experience very often. For others, it seems they have it more often than they like. Dry mouth can be caused by many things, typically from sleeping with your mouth open, drinking too much or not hydrating enough (dehydration).
For those that suffer with dry mouth regularly, the problem becomes chronic and interrupts their daily living. While the physical side effects have an impact all their own, people with dry mouth often experience in a decrease in self-confidence when facing social situations. This could make it difficult to eat or speak in public.
Chronic dry mouth affects an estimated 1 in 4 adults according to research. 40% of these numbers account for people over 55 with dry mouth. When you really look at it, one of the most common oral health issues affecting people is dry mouth.
We are going to cover some facts and tips about dry mouth to help you manage the condition and find your confidence again.
Top 10 Dry Mouth Facts
- Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that affects saliva flow which results in the mouth feeling dry.
- Saliva is required for the mouth to work correctly. It keeps the mouth moist, helps break food down and even assists with swallowing. In addition, saliva acts as a cleanser to the mouth, helping to neutralize plaque acids. Saliva is consistently moving around your mouth and even your teeth, helping to keep teeth clean and fight tooth decay.
- When there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, the taste of food can be affected and trying to eat dry foods can be difficult. Dry mouth can even cause bad breath and alter one’s speech.
- At night is when dry mouth typically is worse because less saliva is produced at night versus the daytime.
- Soreness can result from dry mouth as well and the risk for gum disease and tooth decay increases.
- Dry mouth can occur as you get older and it’s a rather common side effect of certain medications. Any medications you’re prescribed, ask your doctor if dry mouth is a side effect, in addition to any other side effects.
- Certain medical conditions can also result in dry mouth. Such conditions include lupus, blocked salivary glands, diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome.
- According to statistics, men are less likely to suffer from chronic dry mouth than women; 21 percent of men compared to 27 percent of women.
- Mental health illness and social anxiety risk are increased for those who have chronic dry mouth according to studies.
- As of right now, there is no way to prevent dry mouth, but there are ways to help ease dry mouth symptoms.
Top Five Tips for Dry Mouth
- Always visit your dentist regularly. With dry mouth, your risk for gum disease and tooth decay increase and can worsen quickly. Therefore, visiting your dentist regularly can help you avoid these risks.
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste that contains at least 1350 up to 1500 parts per million of fluoride. People with dry mouth may experience irritation if using toothpaste with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
- Look for products that provide help in keeping your mouth comfortable and moist. These products are typically in the form of sprays or gels. Some of these products contain extra ingredients that can help with preventing gum and tooth problems. In addition, you’ll find special products designed for daily oral hygiene including toothpaste and mouth rinse.
- If you enjoy chewing gum make sure it’s the sugar-free kind. This gum can help ease dry mouth because the mouth is made to make saliva while chewing. In addition, your dentist can likely tell you which products they recommend that you can get from the pharmacist including gels, pastes, lozenges and rinses.
- Some people with dry mouth have found temporary, short-term relief sucking on sweets that are sugar-free or sipping water.
When it comes to dry mouth, this condition is more than just an inconvenience. It can make it harder for people to speak or eat, be it in public or small gatherings. Some people who suffer with dry mouth have also told of how it makes them wake up choking and gasping for breath in the middle of the night, which can be very frightening.
Eating and talking are the main physical symptoms that are associated with dry mouth. These typically easy and simple tasks become a challenge. This alone can be very upsetting to sufferers and have a negative impact on their quality of life, self-esteem and their confidence.
If you have not officially been diagnosed with dry mouth but believe that you are suffering from this oral condition, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. They can take a look in your mouth and determine what’s causing your symptoms and then recommend the best course of treatment. If you’re in a time crunch, we encourage you to call us here at Martindale Dental and let one of our friendly dental experts help you.