Causes of Dry Mouth

Saliva is very important in moistening and cleansing our mouths. It plays an important role in the digestion of food and controlling bacteria that help to prevent infections. It is very important to talk with your dentist when you are experiencing dry mouth, because this could lead to an increase in cavity rate.

There are many causes of xerostomia, “dry mouth”, however medications are one of the main causes. “Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescriptions and nonprescription drugs, including drugs to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies and colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), and Parkinson’s disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.” –

Taking any of these medications can have the side effect of having dry mouth as well as taking more than one medication having the same effect on the mouth. Dental cavities can be caused from dry mouth. Saliva is good for washing away the food and neutralizing the acids produced by plaque. Without adequate amounts of saliva tooth decay and gum infection are more likely to occur. It is very important to make sure you seek treatment options for increasing salivary flow. Some treatment options should include: fluoride trays, fluoride varnishes and home fluoride rinses. While fluoride rinses are good for increasing saliva, it is important to read the ingredients, because some contain alcohol. Alcohol is very drying to the teeth and gum tissue, which is not good for a person with dry mouth.