When everything works the way it should, your mouth should feel like a well-oiled, hydrated machine. But if the inside of your mouth feels more like the center of the Mojave Desert, you’ve got dry mouth. The persistent condition causes real discomfort — and it also leads to bad breath, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and more. People with dry mouth are also more likely to experience tooth decay and gum disease.
Dr. Javeed, your dentist in Virginia Beach, knows how important it is to avoid these and other symptoms of dry mouth. That’s why we’ve put together these four tips for keeping your mouth hydrated and your breath fresh. Which ones will help you most?
#1: Drink More Water
Studies show most Americans are dehydrated. Three-fourths of Americans don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. That, of course, leads to a dry, fuzzy tasting (and funky smelling) mouth. H2O encourages the production of saliva, which cures dry mouth while also washing away the plaque, bacteria, and food particles that cause bad breath and gum disease.
If you have trouble remembering to drink water throughout the day, invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it beside your computer or on your desk. Reach for it instead of coffee or soda mid-morning and you may notice a host of other benefits in addition to cured dry mouth.
#2: Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Popping a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth after and between meals stimulates saliva flow to help with dry mouth. Sucking on a sugar-free candy has the same effect. In addition to quenching your mouth, xylitol (the substance found in sugar-free candies) also helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
The next time you’re in the checkout line at the store, let yourself indulge in those last-minute items and stock up on sugar-free Trident or Orbit (or whatever your favorite may be). It’s a small investment that provides big time protection for your oral health.
#3: Limit Caffeine Intake
Ah, there’s nothing better than the aroma of a fresh pot of coffee. But there’s nothing pleasant about your breath a few hours after drinking it. Coffee causes bad breath, and the caffeine in it has also been linked to dry mouth. If you just can’t kick the coffee habit, try reducing your caffeine intake by switching to green tea, which will also help you stay more hydrated.
#4: Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Occasionally, dry mouth is caused by oral cancer or other serious health conditions. Visiting your dentist regularly greatly increases the chances that you will benefit from early detection and successful treatment of serious diseases.
Dry mouth also raises your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Staying on top of your six month checkups and cleanings is especially important for people dealing with dry mouth.
When was your last visit to Smile Care Family Dentistry? Don’t fall behind on your preventive care. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!