Why Is My Mouth Dry?
One of the worst feelings you can have is a dry mouth. It hurts when you swallow, and it can just generally be quite an uncomfortable feeling. The reasons for a dry mouth can vary quite drastically. Some of these reasons can be quite simple and easy to fix – whereas other times the symptoms may point to something a bit more serious and require further action. For today’s blog, our Berwick dental clinic staff will be explaining to you what some of the reasons are for your dry mouth.
Xerostomia is when your salivary glands are not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Some causes of xerostomia include aging, medication side-effects and cancer radiation therapy. As we spoke about last week, saliva is crucial to healthy teeth as it is the primary form of protection against decay. It also washes away sugar and bits of food that we consume – which would otherwise linger and break down in our mouths.
The severity of this condition can range from a minor nuisance to a serious issue that affects your teeth, gums and your ability to enjoy food. Some of the symptoms that could point towards xerostomia include:
- Dryness or stickiness in your throat;
- Thick saliva;
- Sore throat and hoarseness;
- A change in your sense of taste;
- Grooved or dry tongue;
- Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing;
- Problems wearing dentures; or
- Bad breath.
Xerostomia can also be caused by nerve damage, recreational drug use, chewing tobacco, excessive smoking and drinking of alcohol. After partaking in some of these activities, you will notice temporary dryness in your mouth – but if it persists for several weeks, then you should contact a medical professional.
Other reasons for a dry mouth
Just because you have a dry mouth, it does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from xerostomia. If you go out drinking, then the chances are that when you wake up the next morning, your throat will be fairly parched. This is because alcohol dehydrates you. This is another reason why you should keep hydrated during a night out. Generally, the dryness passes within the hour – depending on how much alcohol you consumed – with the help of some H2O.
Sometimes your throat can become dry and itchy if you catch a cold. Depending on the person, colds can last a few days (or even weeks, in some cases). The important thing to remember whenever you feel like your throat may be drier than usual – is to drink lots of water.
How to deal with a dry throat?
Whether it’s temporary or a more permanent thing – such as xerostomia – there are some do’s and don’ts that you should adhere to. Because there is no saliva in your mouth, you should avoid consuming sugary foods and sweets as they will increase the chances of tooth decay occurring. Try using a fluoride rinse before you go to bed to help strengthen your teeth when there is a lack of saliva.
When you chew, your salivary glands are triggered, which means the more you chew, the more likely your glands are to release saliva. Chewing gum is a good idea as it stimulates the salivary glands – however, be sure to stick to the sugar-free variety. Also, be sure to chew your food properly and thoroughly before you swallow as swallowing with a dry mouth can be quite painful. This can also aggravate your mouth further.
You should definitely stay away from things like alcohol and cigarettes when suffering from a dry throat. Essentially anything that further causes your throat to worsen or for you to become more dehydrated is a no-go zone – that includes coffee and spicy foods! This also goes for sugary soft drinks and any acidic drinks as they can damage your teeth and will do so even more now that you have no saliva to help counteract the effects, so to speak.
Looking for a dental clinic in Berwick?
Eden Rise Dental is a family-friendly dental clinic in Berwick that specialises in a variety of services such as children’s dentistry and orthodontics. Our highly trained dentists are fully qualified to administer a wide range of dental services and answer any questions you may have concerning oral hygiene.
If you would like to know more about our Berwick dental clinic and the services we offer, then please give us a call on (03) 9702 6111. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.