Got spit? If you don’t, or don’t have enough, you could be suffering from a condition called xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth. Saliva is crucial to maintaining a clean and healthy mouth as it helps to remove food particles which can lead to the growth of bacteria. A lack of sufficient saliva can allow such bacteria to flourish, which can cause not only bad breath but also trigger other serious health problems as well as tooth decay, infection and tooth loss.
Dry mouth can be caused by internal as well as environmental factors. Your salivary glands may not be working properly, but dry mouth also is a side effect of many common prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those for high blood pressure, depression, allergies, and pain. Many treatments for serious illnesses like cancer, such as radiation or chemotherapy, can also cause dry mouth.
Luckily, there are ways to fix the problem, depending on what is causing the condition. If dry mouth is caused by a glandular problem, your physician can prescribe medication that can increase saliva production. If other medication or treatment is causing the dry mouth, your doctor may alter your regimen.
Regardless, there are lifestyle adjustments you can make that will reduce the chances of your mouth drying up, including:
• Sip water or sugar-free drinks regularly, especially during meals
• Avoid beverages with caffeine
• Avoid sugary or acidic food and drinks
• Chew sugarless gum
• Don’t smoke or use tobacco
• Avoid alcohol, including alcohol-based mouthwash
• Stay away from spicy or salty foods
• Use a humidifier at night
• Breathe through your nose, not your mouth
Of course, you should also maintain healthy oral hygiene habits as part of fighting dry mouth, including brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist.
Assure A Smile: Miami Holistic Dentistry
At Assure A Smile, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic healthcare and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us today at 305-274-0047.