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What Causes Dry Mouth?

HomeDental TipsWhat Causes Dry Mouth?

If you’ve ever experienced dry mouth, you know how uncomfortable it can feel. Dry mouth isn’t just an issue of inconvenience, it can lead to oral health problems. Knowing the cause of your dry mouth may be the first step in curing it. We have answers to all of your questions about the root of dry mouth and what can be done about it.

blond girl closing her eyes and sticking out her tongue with a case of dry mouth

What Is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a decrease in the production of the salivary glands. This means your body is producing less saliva, or spit. The result is a feeling of “cotton mouth.” It can be stress-inducing and uncomfortable. In addition, dry mouth increases the risk of dental problems including gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth can be caused by several factors. Health, age, medication, and lifestyle choices can all affect your ability to produce saliva. Certain health conditions, such as depression, diabetes, and parkinson’s disease can cause dry mouth. Many forms of medication may also inhibit saliva production. Frequent tobacco and alcohol use have also been linked to dry mouth, as has dehydration.

What Can Be Done About Dry Mouth?

Keeping a healthy lifestyle may help to keep dry mouth at bay. If you smoke or use tobacco products, quit. Drink plenty of water each day to avoid dehydration. If you’re stressed or often nervous, look into relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga. If you suspect that your dry mouth may be related to your medication, talk to your doctor. Perhaps there is an alternative medication you could take that wouldn’t cause the same symptom. If there’s nothing you can do about your dry mouth because of a medication you need or a health condition you have, be sure to drink plenty of water each day. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after brushing will also help to sweep away germs in a way that saliva would.

Talk to Us About Your Health!

Talk to us about your health condition(s). We want to be able to provide the best care for you and make sure you’re comfortable and healthy. If you’re experiencing dry mouth and have questions about your oral health, let us know at your next appointment. We can advise you on making adjustments to keep you smiling.

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.