Dry mouth has many causes, including medications, sleep apnea, allergies and dehydration. It is uncomfortable and, if untreated, can lead to accelerated cavities.
Many times, a patient adds a new medication to their list that has the unwanted side effect of dry mouth. While medications are obviously needed to maintain your health, the side effects need to be monitored closely.
Most patients introduced to these meds may have recession areas. These areas are more prone to cavities because they are not as strong as enamel. As a result, they tend to develop cavities when in the presence of dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Causes and Treatment Options
At night, while we’re sleeping, our saliva production decreases. This means we don’t have the ability to cleanse our teeth. If you experience dry mouth at night, be sure to let your dentist know. Typically, as a preventative, you may be described a high fluoride toothpaste as a booster. This can help to harden those exposed tooth surfaces.
Staying hydrated is key. Keep a water bottle by your bed and be sure to drink of plenty of water during the day.
There are several over the counter rinses, pastes and gels available for patient comfort. These products don’t necessarily eliminate dry mouth, but they can keep you comfortable. As a hygienist, I especially like the biotin oral balance gel. A small dab on the tongue can lubricate the mouth well. I typically tell patients to keep the tube by your bedside. Apply it before bed and upon waking. This can help make dry mouth tolerable.
Rule Out Sleep Apnea
If dry mouth is caused from snoring, you may want to look into the possibility of sleep apnea. There are c-pap machines as well as guards that can be used to treat sleep apnea. By treating sleep apnea, you may also help to eliminate dryness!
In closing, dry mouth is uncomfortable and can cause dental issues if not treated and monitored. Be sure to let your dentist know so that you can receive tips on over the counter treatments, and can be prescribed high fluoride toothpastes, if needed.
Family Dentist Tree is a family-oriented dental office located in Rochester, MN. Whether you need a cleaning, filling, crown, root canal, treatment for gum disease, or teeth whitening, we are here to help you with all your dental needs. We serve all ages, and our offerings include family dental care and senior plans. Request an appointment online or call us at 507-288-1188.