Dry mouth, also referred to by the term “xerostomia,” can have a number of causes. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications list dry mouth as a possible side effect, including those used to treat anxiety and depression, hypertension, asthma and even the common cold. Dry mouth can also be a symptom of several diseases or infection, and is often found in smokers and those who use chewing tobacco.
It’s typical for most people to suffer from dry mouth now and then, but when this symptom is frequently experienced, it can create real problems for your dental health. With dry mouth, you don’t produce enough saliva to do its job. That means your food is harder to break down and digest, more food remains between your teeth and along your gum line, and bacteria grows more rapidly. Tooth decay and gum disease become real dangers with this condition.
The good news is that persistent dry mouth can be treated, especially with holistic dentistry. The easiest and most important change you can make to combat dry mouth is to drink plenty of water. Most health care professionals recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Make sure to protect your teeth with a non-alcoholic fluoride rinse, and ask your doctor if you think your dry mouth is caused by a medication or is excessive.