Dry mouth. We’ve all experienced it at one time or the other. Periodic dryness of the mouth isn’t anything to be concerned about. For most people, oral dryness isn’t a specific condition, but a simple annoyance caused by lack of fluids or even a case of nerves. This sort of ‘cotton mouth’ can be alleviated by drinking water and relaxing.
However, if fluids fail to correct the dryness leaving you with a constant, sticky taste in your mouth you may have to delve deeper to find out what the cause is.
What if my mouth always feels dry?
If your mouth feels constantly dry you may have a condition medically known as xerostomia, which occurs when saliva glands aren’t functioning properly. Not only can this result in drying of oral tissues and tongue, but it also causes chapped lips and even problems speaking.
Persistent dry mouth is detrimental to good oral health. The condition can cause an excess of bacteria-harboring plaque that causes bad breath and tartar not to mention cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth can even make wearing dental appliances like dentures painful.
Finding out why your mouth is so dry is important. If a couple glasses of water do not give relief remember that certain OTC and prescription medications like antihistamines and blood pressure drugs can cause dry mouth. Check what’s in your medicine cabinet to see if any daily medications are the culprit. Also, other health issues such as diabetes and stroke can result in a persistent dry mouth. Make sure to check with your doctor before eliminating any medications you are taking that may dry out your mouth.
Dentists vs dryness
If you feel like you’re holding the Sahara Desert in your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist for a comprehensive examination of your oral health to determine the cause. Let your dentist know what health conditions you have and take in a list of medications you’ve been taking. In the meantime, you can relieve the sticky feeling by:
- Drinking more water
- Limiting caffeine and tobacco consumption
- Avoiding excess sugar and sweets
Having a piece of sugar free candy or gum can help. Remember to double up on your daily oral health regime by rinsing, brushing and flossing more until you can get in to see your dentist.