If you are dehydrated or particularly nervous, your mouth may seem dry. That’s normal. It just means you need to drink water or listen to relaxing music. However, if you find that you have a dry mouth on a consistent basis, this may be a sign of an underlying problem. It may also lead to more serious oral problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, difficulty eating or swallowing, or mouth infections.
The treatment of dry mouth is dependent upon its cause. A dry mouth can be caused by:
– Medications: a wide variety of medications can cause dry mouth. This may include some types of drugs in the following categories: antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, drugs that treat Parkinson’s disease, drugs that treat cramps, antipsychotics, or sedatives. Check the label or with your doctor to see if your medication has dry mouth as a side effect.
– Stuffy Nose or Sinus Infection: When you can’t breathe through your nose, you breathe through your mouth. This can cause it to dry out.
– Sjögren’s Syndrome: This is a condition in which your immune system attacks your salivary glands.
– Radiation Therapy: If your head or neck has been exposed to radiation therapy, your mouth may be dry. It may also be a side effect of anti-nausea medication you are taking in addition to the radiation.
– Diabetes: The high blood sugar levels in one’s saliva that are common in diabetes can lead to dry mouth.
If you are not sure of the cause of your dry mouth, you can visit Dr. Timothy Erdle at Institute of Dental Implants and Periodontics. We can help you determine the cause and an appropriate course of treatment.
Meanwhile, there are things you can do at home to keep your mouth moist, such as drinking more water, chewing sugar free gum, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which can aggravate your condition. We may be able to offer you an artificial saliva substitute to use with when your mouth feels dry.
If you have questions, feel free to call us in Gurnee, Illinois at 847-662-3414. We’re here to help you and your smile!