Dry mouth, or as some like to call it ‘cotton mouth’ can occur when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Some common causes include:
• Certain medications
• Cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy)
• Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome
• Cannabis ingestion – smoke, edible, etc
It is a temporary decrease in the amount of saliva your body produces, and unfortunately, some suffer from it repeatedly which can compromise some aspect of their oral health.
If you’re suffering from constant dry mouth, knowing the cause and how to find relief can go a long way in preventing more serious dental complications.
Not only does the saliva in your mouth start the process of digestion, but it helps to wash bacteria and food particles off your teeth and neutralize the harmful acids that come with it. Without this natural defense, plaque and bacteria can build up quickly at the base of your teeth, making you more susceptible to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Whether your dry mouth is temporary or recurring, you’ll want to take measures to relieve the dryness in the short term. Sipping water throughout the day, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free candy can all help moisten your mouth and stimulate your saliva glands. Besides avoiding caffeine, dry and salty foods, alcohol and cigarettes, your dentist may recommend you use an artificial saliva product depending on the status of your general health.
To prevent any oral complications of dry mouth, don’t just keep your mouth as moist as possible; uphold an impeccable oral hygiene routine. Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is a must. Alcohol-free antimicrobial mouthwashes are helpful in reducing oral bacteria on the go, and regular dental visits will allow you and your dentist to stay on top of the things you can’t monitor on your own.