Common Causes of Dry Mouth

SALIVA IS ESSENTIAL not only for our oral health, but for our overall comfort. We all experience a dry mouth every once in awhile and know how bothersome it can be. But what does it mean? And what should we do if it persists?

Saliva Has An Important Role In Our Oral Health
Our bodies are constantly producing saliva to provide our mouths with moisture–we generate two to four pints of saliva a day! Saliva aids in digestion and allows us to taste and process food. It also protects our mouths by washing away food debris and strengthening our teeth against cavities!

Dry Mouth Can Be Caused By A Number Of Things
Dry mouth occurs when salivary glands are not working properly resulting in an inadequate flow of

saliva. It can leave us feeling thirsty and hoarse and our mouths sticky and uncomfortable. We may have problems speaking or trouble tasting and swallowing. It also causes bad breath. Needless to say, not having enough saliva is no fun! East Austin Dentist Dry Mouth

Our mouths may get dry occasionally due to nervousness or stress. More serious and persistent cases of dry

mouth, however, are the result of a number of other things and should be addressed, such as:

Certain medications like antihistamines, painkillers, decongestants, diuretics, among others.
Lifestyle choices such as smoking or chewing tobacco.
Illnesses including Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, to name a few.
Medical treatments that can damage salivary glands, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Dehydration and conditions that cause dehydration such as fever, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, blood loss and burns.

Don’t hesitate to visit Sunny Days Dental and tell Dr. Shah and her team about your experience with dry mouth.
Dry mouth is more than just discomfort, having a dry mouth raises your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and infection and should therefore be taken care of as soon as possible. Depending on the cause of your dry mouth, Dr. Shah can help determine the best course of treatment. Until your appointment, try some at-home remedies such as chewing on sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free candy. And as always, drink plenty of water, especially in this Texas heat!

Top image by Flickr user Jeremy Buckingham used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license . Image cropped and modified from original.

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