Saliva is an important defender against disease and tooth decay in your mouth. So when saliva flow is stymied because of illness or medication, several problems may develop.
Problems Caused By A Dry Mouth
If there isn’t enough saliva to neutralize acids, aid with chewing and swallowing, and bring in tooth rebuilding/disease-fighting substances, then problems can develop such as:
- Increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease
- A sore throat
- Fungal infections
- Cracking or redness in the corners of the mouth or on the lips
- Mouth sores
- Troubles swallowing or speaking
- Bad breath
- A change of taste
- Difficulty wearing dentures
How To Treat A Dry Mouth
See your dentist about treating a dry mouth. They may suggest one of the following remedies:
- Go To The Source: If your dry mouth is caused by something like tobacco or meth use, then quit. If it is caused by an illness such as sjögren’s syndrome, then seek treatment for that.
- Drink Water: Getting more liquids in your mouth and body may be the best solution. However, avoid sugary drinks (which increase your chances of tooth decay) and alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (which can dry out your mouth even more).
- Chew Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum helps to stimulate saliva flow in the mouth.
- Use A Saliva Substitute: Artificial saliva may be the recommended treatment for your dry mouth.