Dry Mouth 101 From Our Novato Dentists

Written by Dr. McConnell on Dec 6, 2022

In order to maintain a healthy and strong smile, you really need to pay attention to the entire ecosystem of your mouth. So many oral health issues can be avoided by making healthier decisions day to day. Today, our Novato dentists are going to be reviewing a surprisingly common condition that leads to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease: dry mouth.

Common causes of dry mouth

When you are healthy, and your smile is healthy, your body produces plenty of saliva to help re-mineralize your enamel and clear away dental debris. Chronic dry mouth means that something in this system is out of whack.

  • This may occur because you aren’t consuming enough water, and are thus generally dehydrated.
  • Certain medications can also lead to dry mouth.
  • Patients who breathe through their mouths, and especially sleep with their mouths open, are more likely than those who do not to suffer from dry mouth.

Once you understand why you’re dealing with dry mouth, you can tailor treatment to fit your needs.

Drinking plenty of water

When you are properly hydrated, your body is able to produce plenty of saliva, which works to re-mineralize dental enamel. Drinking and rinsing your mouth with water also works to dislodge plaque and dental debris.

Treating sleep apnea

Sleep apnea makes it difficult for patients to inhale enough oxygen while asleep. Consequently, sleep apnea sufferers often end up sleeping with their mouths open, which causes dry mouth. Effectively treating sleep apnea using CPAP machines or oral appliances can help diminish this cause of dry mouth.

Using a specially-formulated mouth rinse

There are a number of rinses on the market that are designed to combat dry mouth and refresh your smile. Plus, the very act of rinsing your mouth jump-starts saliva production.

To learn more about ways to protect your smile, and to schedule a personal consultation with our Novato dentists, just give us a call!