Dry mouth is a bigger problem than you think

General

Getting dehydrated often activates the misfortune of dealing with a dry mouth. Your mouth probably feels sticky and uncomfortable, and more than likely, your breath is not pleasant either. While it’s normal to get a dry mouth when you’re dehydrated or feeling nervous, a persistently dry mouth can be a sign of an underlying problem.

This condition can sometimes be referred to as xerostomia, pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth, or des and produces consequences to your overall oral health – especially if you suffer from chronic dry mouth.

There are a lot of reasons you might have dry mouth, and effectively remedying it depends on tackling the root cause.

Sometimes dry mouth is the result of an underlying problem or medical condition, such as:

  • Medication –including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics
  • A blocked nose – having to breathe through your mouth while you sleep
  • Diabetes
  • Radiotherapy to the head and neck – this can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed (mucositis)
  • Sjögren’s syndrome – a condition where the immune system attacks and damages the salivary glands

Saliva is the mouth’s chief protection against tooth decay and it helps maintain the health of soft and hard tissues in the mouth. It washes away food and waste, neutralizes acids from bacteria and provides disease-fighting properties all over the mouth as a first-line of protection against infiltration that can lead to disease.

Without sufficient saliva, bad bacteria has more opportunity to overrun your mouth. Repeated experiences of dry mouth cause tooth enamel to suffer frequently, which can cause cavities or an infection to occur.

With less saliva in your mouth you end up with more plaque which also increases your risk for gum disease. This plaque can begin to irritate your gumline eventually leading to ongoing infection and gum disease. While brushing and flossing daily will help remove plaque, dry mouth can make plaque and its effects worse, even for people who keep up with their oral care.

Some other common problems accompanying dry mouth include a sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages.

In some cases, dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome – a  chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

See your dentist right away if you’re experiencing any of the dry mouth symptoms before it gets worse.  Your dentist can help you determine what’s causing it as well as work with you to remedy the problem and take the best care of your teeth and gums to prevent additional damage.

ADG partners with high-quality, independent hometown dentists and specialist to deliver the best care and services to our members. As a Colorado-company, we get to know our providers personally so we can refer our members to providers we trust.

With an ADG membership, members save up to 58 percent on dental visits. In addition, ADG includes coverage for cosmetic procedures such as whitening treatments, which are typically not covered by traditional insurance.

With ADG’s membership plan there are no annual maximums or deductibles, and we have providers up and down the Front Range.

For more information call 1-800-633-3010

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