Dry Mouth: Causes, Risks, and Treatments

Dry Mouth: Causes, Risks, and Treatments

Dry Mouth

Written By: Poulami Saha | 17 April 2024

Ever feel like you’re constantly reaching for water? 
It can be bothersome!
We get you; dry mouth can be pretty annoying. 
Dry mouth is a very common problem that can affect many people due to certain lifestyle habits or medications. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough saliva, which is an essential fluid that keeps your mouth moist and helps cleanse it. In this blog, we’ll address the causes, treatments, and risks associated with dry mouth.

What Exactly Is a Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth, known by the term xerostomia, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough saliva. If you constantly experience dry mouth with symptoms like thirst, a sore throat, or chapped lips, you might be suffering from xerostomia. While dry mouth itself may not be a major problem, it can lead to some complications, such as tooth decay and mouth sores.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Mouth?

The most common symptoms of dry mouth that you may notice are discussed below:
  • Sore throat
  • Saliva appears thick and stringy.
  • Bad breath
  • Having trouble chewing, speaking, and swallowing
  • Dry or painful throat with hoarseness
  • Dry or grooved tongue
  • Increased thirst

More severe symptoms could include:
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry eyes and skin
  • Skin rash
  • Joint pain

What Are the Root Causes of Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth has numerous causes, ranging from simple habits like sleeping with your mouth open to medications. We’ll explore some of the most common culprits below.
  • Aging:
    With your body’s age, it will never produce as much saliva as it had before, though.
  • Certain injury:
    If part of the body such as the mouth, throat, undergoes surgery, or gets damaged due to a damaged nerve, it will be followed by the system’s incapability to generate saliva. 
  • Cancer Therapy:
    The most common treatment for cancer, which is chemotherapy, alters saliva production, which is the major fluid in your body, and it regulates your ability to swallow. Not only this, but salivary gland functioning may also be affected, thus leading to a dry mouth.
  • Dehydration or mouth breathing:
    As you breathe from your mouth, the breath rate of your body doubles, resulting in your mouth trying to survive by becoming dry and dehydrated. The consumption of various kinds of healthy liquids will help you have a hydrated mouth.
  • Medications:
    Certain medications might be the cause of dry mouth as a side effect

What Can Be the Treatments for Dry Mouth?

Some of the best home remedies for dry mouth are given below:
  • sipping water throughout the day.
  • having ice cubes
  • Limiting the intake of caffeine
  • Limiting salt and sugar intake
  • using a humidifier in your bedroom, especially at night.
  • chewing sugarless gum
  • using particular toothpastes, rinses, and mints

Can a Dry Mouth Lead to Tooth Decay?

Saliva is widely known to have high anti-bacterial functions plus from this blog you got to hear other important functions of saliva as well. So, we can say that saliva in your mouth is there just to protect you from any kind of germs and bacteria. It ensures that your teeth are clean and that you have a strong enamel. Being a dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, or what we call a cavity.

To prevent tooth decay due to dry mouth, you can take the following actions:
  • Frequently, sip water to wash away excess food, debris, and bacteria.
  • Chew sugarless gum to promote saliva production.
  • Get your regular dental checkups done.
  • If your doctor prescribes artificial saliva or medications for dry mouth, take them as directed.

What’s Our Final Take?

Dry mouth can be a troublesome condition, but it’s often temporary. If the remedies don’t resolve your dry mouth, see a doctor. Remember, prevention is key. Regular dental checkups (at least twice a year) are essential for maintaining a healthy smile.
Book an appointment with the dentist if you think you need help fighting dry mouth and getting the healthy smile you dream of. When it comes to opting for professional dental treatment in Dubai, APEX Dental Clinic is just one quick appointment away.