Have you been experiencing dry mouth? If so, you may be wondering what causes dry mouth and what you can do about it. Aside from being an annoyance, dry mouth can cause serious dental issues. Read on to learn more about causes, treatments, and dental care as related to dry mouth.
Dry mouth, clinically referred to as xerostomia, can be caused by a variety of conditions and behaviors. For example, many medications have the side effect of dry mouth. This includes many medications for blood pressure and other common conditions. Additionally, going through more serious medical treatment, such as radiation therapy, can cause this side effect.
Experiencing dry mouth may also be a symptom of an underlying condition. For example, if you suffer from “silent” acid reflux, where you don’t experience pain, you might instead notice a dryer mouth. If you breathe through your mouth at right, which may be caused by sleep apnea or congestion, you may also end up with dry mouth.
Foods and Drinks to Alleviate Dry Mouth
Dental Damage from Dry Mouth
Gum disease: Gum disease is a common complication of dry mouth. Caused by a bacterial infection from plaque and tartar buildup at the gums, gum disease is dangerous to oral health because it increases the risk of tooth decay, allowing decay to reach the tooth roots. Gum disease may even spread to the structures supporting the teeth, resulting in loose teeth and tooth loss.
Tooth decay: Dry mouth allows harmful acids, plaque, and food remnants to stay on the teeth, often resulting in tooth decay.
Enamel erosion: Acids left on the teeth as a result of dry mouth can lead to enamel erosion, a loss of the protective layer of the teeth. As the enamel erodes, the teeth are left vulnerable to tooth decay and root canal infection.
Dental staining: Dry mouth increases the risk of dental staining and discoloration as a result of enamel erosion and increased levels of plaque and food debris on the teeth.