Occasional dry mouth from not drinking enough water or snacking on salty treats is nothing to cause worry. However, if you constantly experience dry mouth, it may be time to find out the cause. When you wait too long, dry mouth can affect your teeth and the rest of your health.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, professionally known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands in the mouth are unable to produce enough saliva to keep the mouth lubricated. A dry mouth can happen occasionally or consistently.
An occasional dry mouth often occurs when you breathe through the mouth or go too long without hydrating. In a case like this, dry mouth will go away by drinking enough water or stimulating your saliva glands. If you sleep with your mouth open, you may be struggling with sleep apnea which is known for causing chronic dry mouth.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Besides not hydrating enough and sleeping with your mouth open, other causes of dry mouth include:
- Medication side-effects
- Breathing dry air
- Health conditions like diabetes
- Damage to the salivary glands
- Wearing oral appliances
Dry Mouth & Your Teeth
Saliva is crucial to your dental health and provides a natural defense against tooth decay and acid erosion. Saliva also helps start the digestion process and can demineralize weak tooth enamel. Without saliva, dry mouth can quickly cause bacteria to build up on your teeth. This can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. A dry mouth can also infect or inflame the gums around any dental restorations you may have. Regular dental cleanings are even more important if you suffer from dry mouth.
Comprehensive Dentistry in Long Island City, NY
If you’re located in or around Long Island City and require dental care for dry mouth, get in touch with our office. At Queensboro Plaza Dental Care, we can help determine the cause of your dry mouth and discuss solutions. We also provide a wide range of other dental services to meet your needs. We can’t wait to help you smile!