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John B. Tague BS, DMD, PA

General & CosmetiC Dentistry

What Causes Dry Mouth?

added on: August 17, 2020

man drinking waterNobody enjoys the feeling of a dry mouth or all of the side effects that go along with it. The desert-dry feeling, the stickiness of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and of course the bad breath are all related to a dry mouth. But dry mouth is more than simple discomfort. In fact, your dentist in St. Petersburg wants you to know that dry mouth can also lead to some serious oral health problems.  

Dry Mouth & Oral Health Problems
Yes, dry mouth is annoying and uncomfortable, but it’s also dangerous if left untreated. You see, a dry mouth means there’s not enough saliva in the mouth to neutralize acid and rinse away bacteria. When this happens, the bacteria and acid can attack teeth, wear down the enamel, and cause cavities. While everyone experiences dry mouth occasionally, when dry mouth doesn’t go away on its own, you should see your dentist in St. Petersburg to figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it. 

Dry mouth isn’t one of those conditions where there’s one underlying cause. In fact, there are numerous things that can cause dry mouth. Some of the most common explanations behind dry mouth include: 

  • Dehydration. One of the most common explanations for dry mouth, and also the easiest to fix, is dehydration. Our mouths need to stay properly hydrated in order to continue to produce saliva. However, most people don’t drink enough water every day and may experience dry mouth as a result. Try your best to drink plenty of water throughout the day, every day. 
  • Disease. As you may already know, there’s a strong correlation between oral health and overall health, and many times when disease or an ailment affects one, the other also experiences some sort of change. This is especially true for dry mouth. Dry mouth is a known side effect of some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, Sjögren’s syndrome, and others.
  • Medications. Hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of prescription and over-the-counter medications include dry mouth as a side effect. To help find out if your medicine may be causing your dry mouth, make sure you read the packet or warning labels of all medicines and always share your complete list of medications with your dentist in St. Petersburg. Even if you think medication may be to blame, never stop taking medicine without first discussing it with your physician. 
  • Alcohol and Tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco are naturally drying, especially when they’re consumed often. To help fight off dry mouth caused by alcohol or tobacco, use them sparingly or try to quit altogether. 

Dry Mouth Treatment
Each person’s case of dry mouth is different, and treatment depends on the individual and the cause behind it. Talking with your dentist in St. Petersburg is the best way to find the best dry mouth treatment for you. But there are other things you can do on your own to help combat dry mouth such as: 

  • Drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day
  • Avoiding tobacco and drinking alcohol
  • Limiting caffeinated beverages
  • Chewing sugarless gum

Nobody should have to live day after day with the discomfort of dry mouth. We can help. Call our dental office to schedule an appointment and start getting relief.