Dry mouth:Why it matters and what you can do
Dry mouth can be caused by many different factors including:stress, head/neck radiation treatment, mouth breathing, smoking, medication side effects (most commonly antihistamines (allergy medication), antidepressants, diuretics),or just general dehydration. It is also a side effect of diseases including: Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and parkinson’s.
Why is Matters: Saliva helps keep our teeth healthy by rinsing food/plaque from our teeth during the day.It also prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth. Dry mouth actually puts you at a much higher decay risk. It also tends to make the plaque in your mouth "sticky" and harder to remove. Your dentist may recommend a prescription fluoride tooth paste to combat the risk of decay.
So what can you do?
1. Drink lots of WATER!
2. Limit caffeine: Caffeine can cause dehydration.
3. Stimulate saliva by chewing or sucking on SUGAR FREE mints or gum (Spry brand is great!)
4. Mouth rinse: First, always use an alcohol free mouth rinse. Alcohol can actually further dry out your mouth and tissue.
5.Several mouth rinses have been formulated to help ease dry mouth such as Biotene, ACT dry mouth rinse, and Crest mouisturizing rinse
6.Medication: in severe cases of dry mouth, a medication for dry mouth can be prescribed to help stimulate saliva