A dry mouth might not seem serious on its own, but considering the significant ramifications makes the dangers clearer. Your teeth are regularly bathed in saliva, which is something that we can take for granted. While saliva might seem arbitrary, it’s actually performing several incredibly essential jobs.
Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps you perform daily tasks like chewing, tasting, and swallowing. However, what we don’t always appreciate is how instrumental saliva is in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral issues. Saliva fights harmful oral bacteria to prevent enamel erosion and irritated gums, and also prevent bad breath.
Your mouth begins to suffer when there is not an adequate amount of saliva present, and one of these seven causes is likely the reason behind your suffering.
You Have an Autoimmune Disease
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease. This disease causes your immune system to attack parts of your own body by mistake. Sjogren’s syndrome commonly attacks the glands that make tears and saliva, causing dry mouth and dry eyes. Most people who have Sjogren’s syndrome are women typically over the age of 40 with other linked diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
You’re Taking Certain Medications With Side Effects
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription medications. Medication-induced dry mouth isn’t just an unpleasant side effect. Lack of saliva can lead to other issues, including problems chewing, eating, swallowing, and talking. A lack of saliva can also significantly increase the risk of tooth decay and oral infections.
Common pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat the following are frequently liked to dry mouth:
- Psychotic disorders
- Urinary incontinence
- Parkinson’s disease
- Muscle relaxants
Your sleeping habits could be the reason why you wake up with a dry mouth if you sleep with your mouth open. This can occur out of habit, clogged nasal passages, or another underlying health condition. Your habit of snoring could also be a side effect of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea that may cause dry mouth breathing and dry mouth.
You’re a Smoker
The nicotine in tobacco products reduces saliva flow, and some smokers suffer from frequent dry mouth symptoms. Additionally, the saliva of smokers can be thicker, which can lead to your teeth not being as well protected. Smoking can cause or worsen pre-existing gum disease and increase your risk of developing mouth, throat, and lip cancer.
You Suffer From Sinus-Related Issues
If you regularly suffer from a stuffy nose or constant sinus issues that cause you to breathe through your mouth, talk to your physician about treating the underlying cause of your sinus-related issues. If you are prone to sinus-related problems, dryness will only make things worse.
You Have an Infection or Virus
A bacterial or viral infection of the salivary glands (such as mumps) can cause inflammation and restrict saliva production. HIV/AIDS is another health condition that can lead to dry mouth. Follow up with a physician if the problem does not resolve after employing some dry mouth remedies.
Your Saliva Levels Have Noticeably Changed
Ask yourself the following questions, and see how many you answer with “Yes:”
- Does your mouth often feel dry or uncomfortable?
- Do you struggle when speaking due to your mouth feeling dry?
- Do you avoid dry foods because you have difficulty swallowing them?
- Does your mouth feel dry while you’re eating a meal?
- Do you notice the amount or lack of saliva in your mouth?
If you’re unsure whether you have dry mouth, or if you notice a sudden change in your saliva level, contact Hinsdale Dentistry today. Together, we can determine the cause of your dry mouth symptoms and find a remedy that works for you.