Why is my mouth always dry?

When the flow of saliva in our mouth is reduced (hyposalivation), it can result in a dry mouth (Xerostomia). This can be caused by many different things, such as:

  • Radiation from cancer treatment
  • Some diseases such as diabetes
  • Medications, especially blood pressure, cholesterol and depression medications
  • Hormonal changes
  • Mouth breathing
  • Ageing
  • Stress, anxiety and depression

Why is saliva important?

Saliva is a fluid produced by the salivary glands in our mouth. Saliva is what lubricates your mouth and keeps it functioning properly, here are some of the ways saliva is important:

  • Breaks down food and aids digestion
  • Helps flush food and bacteria off our teeth
  • Helps swallowing and speaking
  • Neutralises acidity from our foods and drinks
  • Helps prevent infection inside your mouth
  • Helps denture suction
  • Allows us to taste our food
  • Helps prevent decay and gum disease

What are the effects of dry mouth?

Dry mouth can produce a range of signs and symptoms that are usually worse at night when we aren’t producing as much saliva, things to look out for are:

  • Thirst
  • Discomfort and altered sensations in the mouth
  • Difficulty tasting food
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing, especially drier foods
  • Cracked lips and tongue
  • Bad breath

Treatment for dry mouth

You may be tempted to suck on certain sweet or acidic lollies that stimulate your saliva glands, but this may do more harm than good! It is very important to use sugar free products, a great substitute for this is to chew on sugar free chewing gum. Your Dental practitioner will be able to recommend sugar free products/lozenges and saliva replacements in the form of gels and sprays that are designed to keep your mouth healthy and moist

Dry mouth can be difficult to treat, the best thing you can do is to book in at your dentist for a regular visit as dry mouth puts you at higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and mouth infections, that can progress quicker than normal. Your dental practitioner will be able to review possible causes of your dry mouth and work with you to remove the source or relieve the symptoms.

Contact Aim Dental on 1300 AIM DENTAL  or request an appointment online.