All you need to know about dry mouth
A dry mouth can be uncomfortable and increases the risk of cavities and infections, which makes good oral hygiene even more important.
Dry mouth – when your saliva runs low
Saliva has a very important role to play for oral hygiene. The saliva helps to cleanse the mouth from bacteria which prevents plaque from building up on and around the teeth. With less saliva, the teeth become more vulnerable to cavities, and the soft tissues in your mouth become sensitive and susceptible to infection.
Causes and effects of dry mouth
There are many causes for dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. The production of saliva becomes reduced with age. With less saliva, your teeth and gums become more vulnerable to caries and infection.
Medication, diseases or stress can also contribute to dry mouth. Consult your dentist if you experience problems with dry mouth so that these can be identified and treated at an early stage.
Common symptoms include a “sticky” feeling in the mouth, stringy saliva, and a sore throat. Bad breath and dry lips can also be indications of a dry mouth.
Treating your dry mouth
If your dentist or doctor can identify the causes for your dry mouth, treatment may improve your condition.
Five remedies to try yourself
- Drink water often
- Sugar-free gum or lozenges
- Avoid acidic food and the use of tobacco
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Clean between your teeth daily
Ease your dry mouth
Symptoms of a dry mouth can be relieved in many ways, depending on the cause behind the problem.
If you suffer from dry mouth, your oral hygiene is extra important. Avoid eating between meals and rinse your mouth with water often. Make sure to have regular dental check-ups.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is extra important when you suffer from dry mouth. Choose a toothbrush with soft and gentle filaments. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and make sure to also clean between your teeth daily.
Is your mouth dry at night?
Waking up with a dry mouth is a common problem, which can affect both your sleep and your oral health. The symptoms may include:
- Thirst during the night
- Dry lips in the morning
- Stringy and thick saliva
There is no quick cure for dry mouth, but some simple lifestyle changes can relieve the symptoms. Try using a humidifier in your bedroom, use nasal strips to breath easier, and avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening.