Not producing enough saliva can leave your mouth feeling dehydrated, making it difficult to eat, speak, or swallow. But what exactly contributes to your dry mouth? Whether it’s due to a medicinal side effect or a medical condition, knowing exactly what’s causing your dry mouth symptoms is the first step toward alleviating it.
There are a number of culprits linked to cold sore flare-ups:
- Mental health: Stress and anxiety can cause your mouth to lose moisture; if you experience a panic attack seek medical help right away.
- Medication: Certain prescription drugs deplete your natural saliva production. In fact, 90% of all cases of dry mouth can be contributed to medication. Ask your healthcare professional about dry mouth side effects when starting new medication.
- Chronic illness: Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and HIV/AIDS all cause dry mouth. In addition, Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease affecting older women and men, leaves patients with dry mouth and dry eyes. Paying attention to your oral health is extremely important for those with the syndrome.
- Nerve damage: Injuries to the head, neck, and jaw can damage the nerves that signal the salivary glands.
- Dehydration: A lack of fluids in your body results in a dry mouth, leaving you with a cotton-mouth feeling.
- Drug use: Methamphetamines dehydrate your body which leaves your mouth feeling dry.
- Smoking: Tobacco use leads to dehydration, sore tongue, and many other health complications.
Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia, leaves you feeling parched, and constantly reaching for a glass of water. Without a consistent amount of saliva in your mouth, bacteria build up and teeth begin to decay, resulting in bad breath and other, more serious complications. Here are the signs to stay wary of:
- Rough or burning tongue
- Mouth sores
- Cracked lips
- Dry throat
- Sticky, cotton-like sensation in the mouth
- Discomfort or difficulty while speaking, eating, or swallowing
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, wake up in the morning with extreme thirst, or take prescription medication on a daily basis, then speak to your dental professional about treatment options.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth symptoms, there are several measures you can take to help add moisture:
- Drink room-temperature beverages
- Avoid excessive amounts of water at extreme temperatures
- Steer clear of carbonated drinks
- Opt for sugar-less beverages
- Drink water during meals
- Consume sugarless gum or candy
- Avoid smoking
- Diminish alcohol consumption
- Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash
Without good oral hygiene, dry mouth can significantly increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to follow a proper oral care routine of brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day to help curb any oral health issues. Adding a moisturizing, alcohol-free rinse to your regimen, like Crest Moisturizing Oral Rinse Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash, can help relieve dry mouth symptoms and improve your oral health.
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