What Causes Dry Mouth and How Can You Treat It?

What Causes Dry Mouth and How Can You Treat It?

A dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of any medication.

It’s most common in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, especially when it affects their head and neck. But people who are taking other prescription medications may experience this uncomfortable side effect as well.

Can having a dry mouth damage my teeth?

If you have been suffering from a dry mouth without mentioning it to your doctor or dentist, you should tell them as soon as possible.

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. When your mouth is dry, however, the bacteria that breeds is different and harder to control. It can lead to gum disease, dental decay, bad breath, and even difficulty with denture retention.

How can I treat the effects of a dry mouth?

If you want to combat the problems, you have to make certain lifestyle and diet changes.

Drink more water

When you hydrate the inside of your mouth, the dangerous forms of bacteria won’t be able to survive.

Drink less coffee, tea, and alcohol

All of these drinks dehydrate your mouth even further. Also be wary of mouthwashes containing alcohol. Try to purchase the alcohol-free versions instead.

Chew sugar-free hard candies or gum often

Sugar-free is the important part here. Having something in your mouth causes your body to produce more saliva because your body thinks it has to digest something.

Talk to your doctor about saliva replacements

If you can’t get to your doctor, your dentist can recommend or prescribe gels or pills that can be used when nothing else works. Talk to your dentist about mouth rinses like Biotene that can help with your symptoms.

Schedule frequent visits with your dental hygienist

This is especially important if your hygienist uses sonic water cleaners and dental lasers. They can remove the sticky layers from your teeth called biofilm, which is where the bacteria live. If you really want to impress your hygienist, make sure you’re brushing your teeth regularly with a good quality toothbrush.

How can I get help with my dry mouth in Ottawa?

If you’re tired of dealing with the side effects of dry mouth, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens and her team to get on the path to less discomfort.

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