17 Nov Dry mouth causes and treatments
Having a dry mouth is a common ailment that has many causes and can be frustrating to deal with. This blog will explore what the causes of dry mouth are, its effects on your teeth and how to best manage it.
Dry mouth is most common in people who are of retirement age with roughly 20% suffering from its effects. However, age isn’t what causes dry mouth. The main causes are those who have to take multiple medications, people who have had radiation treatment on their head and neck area for cancer therapy and those with autoimmune disorders like sjogrens syndrome.
Why is it a problem?
Saliva plays an important role in our mouths by helping break down foods, neutralize acids and aid with swallowing. As a result, when people develop a dry mouth, they become far more prone to developing dental decay.
How do I managed dry mouth?
The first step is to talk to your dentist and your doctor to let them know. If your doctor suspects that the dry mouth is being caused by your medications, then they may decide to change your medications to try and alleviate your dry mouth symptoms. Your dentist will also be able to give you strategies to better manage your dry mouth by alleviating the symptoms and try and reduce your decay risk.
There are products that can help mimic the feeling of having adequate saliva. The two most common brands are Biotene and Oral 7 which have mouth rinses, sprays, gels and toothpastes in their product range. These will not solve the problem of having a dry mouth but can aid in comfort especially if you wake up through the night because of a dry mouth.
Maintaining a high level of oral health is crucial to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. Brushing thoroughly at least twice daily, cleaning between your teeth daily, cleaning between you’re your teeth daily as well as increasing the amount of fluoride on your teeth will all help reduce bacterial levels in your mouth and strengthen your teeth.
So if you find yourself suffering from a dry mouth, just remember that you’re not alone and there are ways to counter its symptoms and affects.