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Causes of a dry mouth

Why does my mouth always feel *dry*?

The saliva in your mouth is a watery secretion made by glands in your mouth, this secretion contains some important substances your body uses to start to digest food, as well as maintain strong and healthy teeth.

Saliva is essential to –

  • Help you chew, taste and swallow solid foods
  • Keeps your mouth moistened and comfortable
  • Fights germs in your mouth
  • Stops bad breath
  • Has the proteins and minerals needed to protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease
  • Helps secure dentures in place

When you eat and chew it helps your mouth produce more saliva, the harder you chew, the more saliva you produce. If your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, you can suffer from xerostomia – or dry mouth.

What is dry mouth?

In the human mouth alone, there can be over 700 different strains of bacteria, and these germs thrive in a dry mouth making the gums, tongue and other tissues in the mouth swollen and uncomfortable. Dry mouth can also cause halitosis or bad breath.

Dry mouth makes you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease because saliva helps clear food particles from teeth which reduces risk of cavities. You may also find that everything you eat is dry and bland.

Dry mouth and too little saliva can be caused by –

  • Dehydration
  • Certain diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, Aids or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Salivary duct obstruction – blockage in one of more of the pipes that drains saliva
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • A structural issue with the salivary duct

Other drugs that can cause dry mouth and stop saliva flow include –

  • Anxiety medication
  • Specific types of blood pressure drugs
  • Antihistamines
  • Appetite suppressants
  • Many antidepressants
  • Diuretics or water pills
  • Some pain medications (analgesics)

Always consult your Doctor about any side affects you may experience when taking any medications.

What if I have too little saliva?

Our dentists in Parramatta Dental Avenue suggest –

  • Snack on crunchy veggies
  • Chew sugar free gums
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water

If you find you are still suffering from dry mouth your dentists in Parramatta recommend using artificial saliva, a liquid or spray can be purchased without the need for a prescription, however it’s best to consult a healthcare professional about the right type of artificial saliva for your condition.

If you have any concerns or would just like to come in for a check up and stay at the top of your dental health, come see our dentists in Parramatta Dental Avenue and we can provide you with all the help you need!

Call Parramatta Dental Avenue on 800 400 55 and speak to one of our friendly team members today!

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