People who have ever experienced dry mouth can agree that it is not a fun feeling. A dentist in Newport Beach explains that this condition can be picked up as a result of simple things like not drinking enough water, drinking too much alcohol, or mouth-breathing at night. For some people, it is a minor and infrequent inconvenience. For others, it is a daily struggle.
The worst kind of dry mouth is persistent and can often have negative effects on a person’s self-esteem. For some people, this issue can affect their desire to go out in public, limit the conversations that they want to have, and dampen their outings to restaurants.
Existing research on this condition has found that about one in four adults experiences dry mouth. For people over forty-five, this ranks even higher at forty percent.
Since this oral condition is so common, it is important to understand where it comes from and how to mitigate the symptoms.
What is dry mouth?
According to a dentist in Newport Beach, dry mouth (otherwise known as xerostomia) occurs from a significant decrease in saliva flow. This disruption of moistening processes can make it difficult and uncomfortable to function as usual. Saliva is responsible for breaking down food, lubricating the throat, neutralizing plaque acids, and working as overall protection against tooth decay.
Someone who experiences dry mouth may have trouble tasting flavor, eating dry foods, speaking clearly, and maintaining fresh breath. This condition often occurs at night, while people are sleeping, because the mouth naturally decreases saliva flow when it is not as necessary. When experiencing dry mouth, people are more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth soreness.
Dry mouth is often experienced more frequently in old age and can also be a side effect of certain medications treating heart problems, blood pressure, and depression. If you believe that your medication may be causing your dry mouth, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it is a symptom of the drug.
Dry mouth can also occur as a result of diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, blocked salivary glands, and other known medical conditions. Research shows that twenty-seven percent of women are likely to experience chronic dry mouth, while men are only at risk by twenty-one percent. A dentist in Newport Beach explains that chronic dry mouth is also strongly linked to social anxiety and other mental health problems.
There are many different reasons for experiencing dry mouth, but it is not a completely lost cause. While it may be difficult to completely prevent the condition, there are many methods of lessening the symptoms.
What do you do when you experience dry mouth?
The most important thing to understand about dry mouth is that it can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Someone who regularly experiences this condition should be extra vigilant with their oral health by scheduling dentist visits and brushing regularly.
Many dentists will recommend using a toothpaste that contains 1350 to 1500ppm of fluoride in order to protect against tooth decay. Also, people with dry mouth should avoid products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is an irritant for this problem.
Dentists will also recommend a number of oral hygiene products, including gels or sprays, that can activate saliva and, therefore, counteract the dry mouth symptoms. Certain kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash will also target the problem, while also strengthening tooth and gum health. In order to best fight dry mouth symptoms, spending a little time and money to find the right oral hygiene products for you will be a great help.
Some more immediate solutions to mitigate dry mouth symptoms include chewing gum, sucking lozenges, and sipping beverages. Consider sugar-free alternatives in order to protect your mouth from further risk of decay.
For more information, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Newport Beach and discuss the best options for your condition. Dry mouth can be felt in varying degrees, which is why it is important to understand your specific case and customize your strategy to your needs. Dry mouth is not fun, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce this condition so you can feel more like yourself again.