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It’s important not to ignore dental discomfort. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and it can also cause long-term problems. Saliva is part of your body’s natural defense system against bacteria and tooth decay, so insufficient saliva flow can seriously impact your dental health. That’s why it’s important to treat dry mouth as soon as you notice it. Let’s talk about 5 things that cause dry mouth to help you get relief and prevent it from causing issues down the road.

1. Medications
If you’re suffering from a sudden increase in dry mouth symptoms, it might be helpful to look in the medicine cabinet for any new medications you may have started taking recently. As we age, the likelihood of having a condition that requires either prescription or over-the-counter medication increases. Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common side effect listed for many medications. If your doctor has prescribed medication, it’s important not to stop taking it unless your doctor recommends it, but it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or your dentist if you think a medication may be contributing to your dry mouth symptoms.

2. Dehydration
Dehydration is another leading cause of dry mouth. Since our bodies are made up of about 60% water, it makes sense that it’s so vital to our bodies’ health to stay hydrated. Medical professionals recommend that adults drink about 2 liters or 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. If you’re feeling thirsty, it usually means that you’re already dehydrated. Keeping a water bottle with you can be useful both as a reminder to drink enough water and as a way to track how much water you’re drinking throughout the day.

3. Sinus or Breathing Problems
If you suffer from a chronic lung condition, congestion, or any other condition that causes breathing or sinus problems, it’s important to remember that these can all be things that cause dry mouth. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, try to notice if you’re breathing through your mouth more than usual. If so, it may help to talk to your doctor about ways to treat the underlying condition in order to prevent dry mouth.

4. Exercise
Exercise is good for you in many ways, but higher levels of physical exertion can also lead to an increased need to breathe through your mouth. If your mouth tends to get extra dry after a walk or workout, make sure you’re staying hydrated. Try to build up the intensity of the exercise more gradually so that you can continue to breathe comfortably through your sinuses throughout your workout.

5. Age-related and Hormonal Changes
Dry mouth is an especially common problem for older adults. There are many reasons for this, but two things that cause dry mouth in older adults are simply advancing age and hormonal changes related to aging. If you’ve tried everything to resolve your dry mouth symptoms and haven’t found relief, it’s time to talk to a dentist. They may prescribe a special mouthwash or other solution to help treat and prevent dry mouth.

A Dentist who Understands
When you’re suffering from dry mouth or other age-related conditions, it’s important to have a dentist who understands and has experience in treating these conditions. A geriatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in treating senior patients and conditions that are commonly related to aging. If this sounds like a good fit for your dental care needs, call a geriatric dentist today to schedule an appointment.

Call our Sun City West Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.