Do you constantly feel thirsty? Even after you just tried to quench your thirst, your mouth ends up drier than the Sahara Desert just a few minutes later. Not only is this frustrating, but the chronic bad breath that accompanies dry mouth is embarrassing. Truth be told, chronic dry mouth really isn’t good for your oral health either. The office of Joshua Holcomb, DDS wants you to know the negative effects dry mouth could be having on your health and how to reverse them.
What happens when you have chronic dry mouth?
Have you ever wondered why you tend to have worse smelling breath when your mouth is dry? Saliva plays a huge role in naturally keeping your mouth clean. It’s practically our body’s mouthwash, naturally rinsing bad dental bacteria away so that it doesn’t stick to our cheeks, tongue, and teeth. This helps keep our breath fresher and reduce our chances of developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
However, when you have chronic dry mouth, that dangerous dental bacteria and other debris can gather on your teeth, gums, and tongue. Here are some helpful tips that can make it easier to relieve your dry mouth.
1. Drink water regularly.
Staying hydrated is important for your whole body, not just your teeth!
2. Chew sugar-free gum.
Active chewing, especially sugar-free gum, stimulates the natural flow of your saliva.
3. Try a mouthwash specialized for dry mouth.
Look for a mouthwash that includes xylitol, a natural saliva stimulant. Some examples are Biotene Dry Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash. These mouthwashes also protect your teeth against the higher chances of tooth decay.
4. Utilize a humidifier at night.
Some patients experience the worse dry mouth throughout the night or when they first wake up. By using a humidifier, you may just be saving yourself from not only a dry mouth but a dry throat! This is especially helpful at night because dental bacteria develop the most when you’re sleeping (hence bad morning breath!). A well-hydrated mouth will help your natural saliva fight off bad dental bacteria from sticking to your teeth and tongue while you rest.
5. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
Both sugar and acid mix with dental bacteria to create a toxic substance that attacks your teeth. Your enamel quickly weakens when you indulge in sodas or sports/energy drinks. Mix these toxins with a dry mouth and your teeth, gums, and tongue become a breeding ground for tooth decay.
6. Try an over-the-counter saliva substitute.
In severe cases, you should seek out additional assistance. Mouth Kote, Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or other products containing xylitol are good examples of what to look for. If you need further assistance picking the right product, reach out to your Collierville dentist for the right products.
7. Visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Treating tooth decay and other dental problems is one way to improve your dry mouth. It’s important to openly communicate the symptoms you’ve been experiencing so you can get the most out of your normal dental appointment. This way, your dentist can develop the best, customized plan to restore optimal oral health. We will also be able to remove dental bacteria that may have been building up while you’ve had chronic dry mouth with a professional cleaning.
Schedule Your Appointment!
If these steps still aren’t helping your dry mouth, schedule a special appointment to discuss further options. There may be underlying factors that could be affecting your dental health. Feel free to call us whenever you have a concern! Our dental office is here to help relieve your oral health issues when you need us.