Not everyone has experienced dry mouth, but if you have, you know how important it is to find a remedy! Whether due to age, medications, or even other health issues, dry mouth can appear out of nowhere and wreak havoc on your oral health. Here are some of the most common questions we see about dealing with dry mouth.
- Isn’t dry mouth a regular part of getting older?
- What are the main causes of dry mouth?
- What is dry mouth a symptom of?
- What medications cause dry mouth?
1. Isn’t dry mouth a regular part of getting older?
No, it absolutely is not. Dry mouth can be a symptom, it can be a side effect, it can be an oral health concern, but it is not normal, regardless of the age at which it starts. If you are experiencing dry mouth for the first time or if it is worsening, be sure to share that information with your doctor and dentist so you can find out the cause and select an appropriate treatment. Don’t let dry mouth damage your mouth because of a misperception.
2. What are the main causes of dry mouth?
A particularly common cause of dry mouth is medication use. Many medications used to treat a wide variety of health conditions have dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth can also be a sign of some health conditions or autoimmune illnesses. It frequently occurs with tobacco or alcohol use, or it can be caused by recreational drug use. Nerve damage or damage to the salivary glands (which make saliva) can also be the cause of dry mouth.
3. What is dry mouth a symptom of?
Dry mouth can be caused by several chronic health conditions. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of dry mouth. Oral thrush, an infection in the mouth caused by yeast, both has been known to cause dry mouth and be caused by dry mouth. Patients who have had a stroke can experience dry mouth as well. Autoimmune diseases can be the cause of dry mouth, as well. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the membranes that produce moisture, causing dry mouth along with other areas of bothersome dryness. The snoring associated with sleep apnea also is associated with dry mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth, be sure to share that information with your doctor during your annual visit to help your doctor have a full picture of your physical health.
4. What medications cause dry mouth?
Dry mouth is one of the most commonly listed side effects of prescription medication. It is can be caused by a wide variety of medications used to treat an equally wide variety of health concerns. Many medications used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions can cause dry mouth. Allergy medications and decongestants also can have a drying effect. Some pain medications, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressants also can cause or contribute to dry mouth. Additionally, the more medications a person takes, the more likely they are to experience dry mouth as a side effect. If you are experiencing dry mouth from medication, speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see if there’s an alternative medication appropriate for you that doesn’t cause you the same dryness.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, make sure to mention it to your dentist or doctor so you can begin to determine and address the cause! You can also consider beginning use of moisturizing oral products to help combat dry mouth, especially those that will also boost the pH and reduce your risk of future decay!