Have you noticed that your mouth is often dry lately? This is not a symptom you should ignore, since a dry mouth is very appealing to the bacteria that causes tooth decay. The first step in dealing with the issue is to identify the likely cause of your mouth dryness, so you can treat it properly. Here's a look at three common causes of mouth dryness.
Many medications cause dry mouth as a side effect. This is particularly common with inhaled medications, such as the corticosteroids used to treat asthma. It can also happen with pain relievers, diabetes medications, and medications used to treat Parkinson's disease, among others. If you are taking a medication regularly, read the label to see if dry mouth is a side effect. Talk to your doctor about switching to an alternative medication that may not cause this side effect. If this is not a possibility, you'll have to use other measures to manage your dry mouth, such as sipping water regularly throughout the day and breathing through your nose rather than your mouth.
Have you ever been in an accident that caused head or neck trauma? Perhaps you suffer from another condition that affects the nervous system. Nerve damage can cause your salivary glands to under-produce, leading to chronic dry mouth. If you think that nerve damage may be to blame for your dry mouth, talk to your dentist. He or she may recommend a medication that causes your salivary glands to release more fluid, or a special rinse that keeps your mouth moist.
Smoking tobacco and other substances can lead to dry mouth. Not only does the action of smoking cause moisture to evaporate from your mouth, but it also causes your salivary glands to be less active. Quitting smoking is clearly the most straightforward solution to this problem, but many people struggle to quit. If you've had trouble quitting in the past, try a new method, as different methods work for different people. For instance, consider working with a support group, using nicotine gum or patches, or asking your doctor for a prescription drug to help you quit. Once you're smoke-free, your dry mouth will likely subside.
Dry mouth is not just an annoyance, it's a threat to your dental health. If you're not sure what is causing your dry mouth, talk to a dentist like Landy Michael G DDS. They may be able to detect additional symptoms that will help establish why you're dealing with this issue and what can be done to treat it.