Why Does My Mouth Feel Dry & How Can I Make it Better?

Saturday, October 29, 2016
Why Does My Mouth Feel Dry & How Can I Make it Better?

How to keep your mouth from getting dry, the easy way

dry mouthIf you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms such as having an exceptionally dry mouth or lack of saliva – know that you’re not the only one. Many people suffer from dry mouth but you’d never know! While the statistics don’t tell us exactly how many people have dry mouth as a condition, there are a list of reasons why dry mouth occurs and you might be shocked!

As you may have noticed in the previous statement, dry mouth is a condition! But, it’s nothing to be afraid of. The most important thing is to understand why you in particular are experiencing this

So, What Causes Dry Mouth?

In general, dry mouth occurs when the glands in the mouth that produce saliva lack the ability to work properly. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Medications – Many over-the-counter and prescription medications create a side effect of dry mouth. More specifically medications that are used for depression, anxiety, antihistamines and nerve pain.
  • Cancer Therapy – Between chemotherapy and radiation treatments, one might have side effects all over the map. One of these side effects are commonly dry mouth, causing a saliva production decrease.
  • Aging – Alright, aging itself does not cause dry mouth but the older you get, sometimes you are in need of more medications with this side effect. There are also some elderly conditions and diseases that cause dry mouth as well.
  • Drugs – More commonly methanphetamines cause dry mouth so severely that your teeth become damaged due to the lack of saliva.
  • Smoking – Tobacco use may cause a lack of saliva causing dry mouth.

With many other possible causes behind dry mouth, these listed are the most common reasons for a condition that is definitely noticeable. If you are on a journey through any of these listed causes, don’t be afraid to talk to you dentist about how to prevent dry mouth.

How Do I Know I Have Dry Mouth?

The condition itself is significantly different than the typical ‘I need water, I’m dehydrated’ dry mouth. Symptoms can range from simple dryness in the mouth to gum irritation. Additional symptoms include:

  • Thick, stringy saliva
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
  • Smelly breath
  • Frequent tooth decay
  • Taste change
  • Problems wearing dentures

Between the causes and symptoms of dry mouth, you or your dentist can discuss whether this might be a symptom indicating a more serious problem. If you are having trouble finding a dentist to help treat these symptoms, simply contact Penn Dental Family Practice at 215-898-PDFP.

You can also take a look at some of these home remedies that may keep you dry-free until your next appointment.

  • Drink water continuously throughout the day – avoid sugary drinks
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Use a humidifier at night
  • Breathe through your nose
  • Avoid caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, antihistamines and decongestants
  • Use a fluoride rinse
  • Brush your teeth two times per day

Remember, treating dry mouth is never a fun task – but there are gentle and caring doctors here at Penn Dental Family Practice to guide you in the right direction and take good care of your mouth.