If you’ve ever experienced having a dry mouth, you understand why it is often described as “cotton mouth”. Unfortunately, dry mouth can feel like you have just taken a big bite of cotton! Definitely not a comfortable feeling! Maybe you’ve wondered where this comes from and what causes this feeling? Dry Mouth is caused when you do not have enough moisture or saliva. Without proper saliva to coat your throat, tongue, lips, gums, etc., your mouth becomes very dehydrated or parched. The medical term for this condition is xerostomia. Feeling parched is just one of the effects of xerostomia. Your throat can become very sore, and it may become difficult to swallow because you do not have the necessary lubrication. Your lips get chapped, and if not treated, can crack and bleed. Your tongue can get dehydrated as well, which can add to any oral health complications. Even your teeth and gums become more vulnerable to injury and infection unless you maintain a vigorous oral hygiene routine.
Some of the most common causes of dry mouth include the following:
The initial cause of dry mouth is a lack of fluids. When you don’t have adequate water in your body, this can cause dry mouth. Check your water intake. The rule of thumb is that your body needs at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day.
Fever, vomiting, diarrhea and even too much sweating can cause dehydration and dry mouth. When you are sick, you need to increase the amount of water and liquids that you are taking in.
Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco can simply be the cause of a dry mouth too. Continually breathing smoke in and out can be very irritating to your mouth and mucosal membranes and can cause dryness. Dry mouth is just one of the many health risks of nicotine.
When to Seek Out Help
When you have a constant dry mouth, it is time to speak to your dentist or doctor about your condition. Persistent dry mouth may be a symptom of a deeper health issue or situation such as:
* Diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
* Medications for hypertension, allergies or muscle relaxants or chemotherapy
* The condition could be caused by poor dental conditions due to poor dental hygiene, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Short Term Relief
There are several things that you can do to keep your mouth moist, which will provide short-term relief. Here are some suggestions:
Begin by drinking water regularly. This will keep moisture in your body and will immediately lubricate your mouth and throat. Avoid alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, as they will just dry your mouth out even more.
In situations where your constant dry mouth is causing problems for you, it is important to seek out medical help. These are not normal conditions and should not be treated lightly. In most cases, there are steps that can be taken to improve the condition, such as switching medications or improving dental health. Make an appointment with a reputable dentist, such as Dr. Halina Montano for an evaluation.
In any event, persistent dry mouth should not be a normal thing for you. Determine if your constant dry mouth is a symptom of a larger problem.
If you would like relief from dry mouth, it is important to start with good oral hygiene and dental care. Dr. Halina Montano is outstanding in the dental field and would love to help you reach optimal oral health! Begin by calling our office at 561-232-2070 to schedule your appointment. Take the first step to your best oral health! You’ll be glad you did!