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The Dangers of Dry Mouth and Why to Stay Hydrated This Summer

06/01/2017
effects-dry-mouth

With summer comes a lot of fun in the sun. But, if you’re not careful and fail to drink enough water, you could put yourself at risk for dry mouth or dehydration. Learn some of the effects of dry mouth and how to protect your oral health as the weather heats up.

What Is Dry Mouth?

Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is caused by a reduced flow of saliva in the mouth. There are many different causes of dry mouth, including chemotherapy treatment, side effects of certain medications, autoimmune disease, and other conditions. Often, the lack of saliva in your mouth could result from you being nervous or anxious, or you may just need to drink more fluids.

Although having dry mouth may seem harmless, this oral health condition can cause something more severe. Effects of dry mouth include difficulty tasting, chewing, and swallowing food, and even trouble speaking.

Dry mouth can increase the chances of:

  • Tooth decay
  • Breaking down the minerals of the teeth
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Oral infections
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat

Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

Your dentist is the best person to help you determine the cause of your dry mouth in order to specialize a treatment plan. However, there are plenty of dry mouth home remedies to get you started.

Chew sugarless gum

Sugarless gum can work wonders to stimulate saliva flow if you’re suffering from dry mouth. It can also help treat bad breath.

Practice better breathing

When you breathe through your mouth, it could be contributing to your dry mouth. Instead, try to breathe through nose more often throughout the day.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Substances like caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can cause dehydration. Consume them less to reduce the effects of dry mouth.

Drink more water

Water is the best medicine! Drink water throughout the day to help reduce dry mouth and to help you stay hydrated. Also, eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content can help.

Practice good oral hygiene

When you suffer from dry mouth, the limited saliva makes your mouth more susceptible to disease and tooth decay. Practicing a proper oral hygiene routine will help your mouth produce saliva and stay healthy. Brush your teeth in the morning and night, and remember to floss daily to remove leftover plaque.

Visit Your Family Dentist This Summer

At Cabrillo Family Dental Care, we are passionate about keeping your mouth healthy. Ask us about dry mouth treatments and how to improve your oral hygiene routine the next time you come in for a checkup.