Millions of people experience dry mouth at some point in their lives. If you are one of those millions, you know night time is generally the worst, waking up parched. Without relief it can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Dry mouth is annoying and can be painful. If left untreated, chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
It is important to first understand the causes and symptoms of dry mouth. Saliva is a natural part of the digestive system which helps break down foods and rinses bacteria out of the mouth. Dry mouth is typically characterized by a lack of saliva which can cause difficulty tasting, chewing, swallowing, and even speaking. Without an appropriate amount of saliva, bacteria can stick to the teeth and create tooth decay.
Dry mouth is only a symptom of other conditions. It can be caused by medication use, smoking, radiation treatment, aging, diabetes, or even Parkinson’s. The most common symptoms of dry mouth include feeling thirsty, chapped lips, burning/tingling in your mouth and tongue, bad breath, and a dry/sticky mouth.
So why is it so bad at night? Mouth breathing is the culprit here. The best cure for dry mouth is to address any underlying health issues, but for a more immediate solution try something from the following list:
- Drink water throughout the day
- Chew sugar free gum or suck on sugar free candies
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
- Quit smoking
- Avoid acidic or spicy foods
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake, especially at night
- Talk to your doctor about mouth breathing or snoring
- Use mouth washes/rinses designed for dry mouth
- Discuss changing medication to reduce dry mouth as a side effect
- Use a humidifier to add additional moisture to the air
- Keep water by your bed at night in case you awake parched
If you are suffering from dry mouth, call Advanced Dentistry of Collegeville today at (610) 489-5555.