Out of the many ongoing oral health nuisances that can damage your smile, chronic dry mouth is perhaps one of the most serious. While dry mouth may, at first, seem simply annoying, the truth is that this condition can put you at risk for developing additional oral health issues down the road. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists…
Why does dry mouth occur?
Dry mouth can pop up for a number of different reasons, and, depending on the root cause, it may be episodic or chronic. Obviously, if you are dehydrated you will likely deal with dry mouth until you are able to hydrate again. There are also a variety of medications that carry dry mouth as a possible side effect. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea are also prone to dry mouth.
How can I treat dry mouth?
The key is to figure out the root cause of the issue, and then tailor treatment to fit your needs. Depending on our assessment of your oral health, we may recommend:
- Adding a mouth rinse into your daily routine
- Utilizing a specific formulation of mouth rinse
- Switching your daily drinks to those that help combat dry mouth
- That you talk to your doctor about medication alternatives that minimize dry mouth
- That you seek treatment for sleep apnea—using either a CPAP machine or oral appliance
What happens if dry mouth goes untreated?
Unfortunately, long-term dry mouth can leave you open to developing all kinds of oral health problems. Saliva is actually your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria and re-mineralizing teeth. So, when you have a dry mouth, oral bacteria are able to run rampant, and you may develop additional cavities, gum disease, and hard-to-treat bad breath.
If you notice dry mouth in your own daily life, please don’t ignore these signs and symptoms. Prompt treatment is available and will minimize your risk of developing additional dental issues. As always, you can reach out to our Elmhurst dentists to schedule a personal consultation!