Many of us experience a dry mouth once in a while -- especially if we're nervous, upset or under stress. However, if dry mouth is a constant condition for you, it can be uncomfortable, cause difficulties in talking and eating, and will increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections of the mouth.
Dry mouth can be a side effect of medications you may be taking -- such as medicines for high blood pressure and depression -- or a result of certain diseases that affect the salivary glands, such as diabetes, HIV and Parkinson's disease. Consider these tips to ease your dry mouth discomfort:
- Sip water or sugarless drinks often, even while eating as it will make chewing and swallowing easier.
- Avoid coffee, tea and other drinks with caffeine can dry out the mouth. Avoid alcohol as it has the same effect.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow.
- Don't use tobacco as it can also dry out the mouth.
- Consult us for advice on saliva substitutes or oral rinses especially formulated to ease the discomfort of dry mouth.
Saliva is necessary to lubricate the mouth, wash food away, neutralize acids produced by plaque , and prevent infections by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. If you have dry mouth you have to be extra attentive to your daily dental routine, brushing and flossing vigilantly to remove plaque buildup and scheduling your continuing care appointments at least every six months. Please talk to us about tips to make your condition more comfortable and keep your teeth and mouth healthy.