Winter means spending a lot of your days and hours inside. In doing so, we expose our bodies to manufactured heat from our furnaces and baseboards that often results in dry air.
All this leads to the familiar dry lips and dry mouth. While these symptoms of decreased saliva can be helped by just sipping on some water, cases can be exacerbated with medical conditions, medications, and allergies.
While it may not be a problem for some, chronic dry mouth can lead to increased bacteria and infections. So, what can you do if you find yourself constantly battling dry mouth? Why is it so bad to leave dry mouth untreated? Let’s go through it.
Why is Dry Mouth Bad?
If you don’t have enough saliva, your mouth will remain dry, creating an environment suitable for plaque, tooth decay, and if left long enough gum disease. Chronic dry mouth is concerning for dentists, as we depend on our patients to alert us of their chronic issues.
Beyond teeth issues, your mouth and lips can be affected as well. Thrush, mouth sores, split skin and lips are all a pain to deal with. But is there anything you can do to alleviate these symptoms? Yes!
An obvious choice, but one we must mention. Drinking water prevents dehydration and is essential for our bodies to work optimally. If it is possible, avoid drinking a lot of water at once because it can upset your stomach. Instead, sip water throughout the day, making it your drink of choice.
Sugar-Free Lozenges and Gum
Sucking on sugar-free lozenges or candy and chewing sugar-free gum stimulate saliva production and flow and both are a temporary relief for dry mouth. Choose sugar-free as sweets can damage teeth.
Another tip is to eat ginger. Ginger helps stimulate and increase saliva flow. It is available as a spray, tea, and candy.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier adds humidity to the air that you breathe in a room, helping prevent dry mouth by keeping the airways and mouth moist. People who stay indoors most of the time may notice that the dry indoor air makes symptoms of dry mouth worse.
Avoid Smoking, Caffeine, and Alcohol
These are mouth-drying habits you should stop. Each one works as a diuretic, causing your body to excrete water. While they may be alright in moderation, anyone suffering from chronic dry mouth should avoid these substances.
Breathe Through Your Nose
There are people who breathe through their mouths, and that causes dryness of the airways. That may be caused by a respiratory condition, heavy exercise, or sleeping with mouths opened. A conscious effort to breathe through the nose may alleviate the symptom.
Has Your Mouth Been Dry Consistently?
As the last protection, individuals who experience dry mouth due to their home or their medications can make regular appointments with their dentist.
Consistent checkups will help reduce plaque build-up and can be a great way to monitor the progress of your teeth. If you are at all concerned whether your dry mouth is affecting your teeth, don’t hesitate, call us today to book your next appointment!