If your mouth feels dry and cottony most of the time, you may suffer from a condition called xerostomia. A lot of people suffer from this common condition, and it can be an annoying problem to have. Here are three things you should know about xerostomia:
It is a medical term for dry mouth
You may have never heard of the term xerostomia, but you may have heard people talk about dry mouth. Xerostomia is just another word for dry mouth, and it is a condition that is most common with elderly people, although people of any age can develop this problem. Dry mouth is exactly what it sounds like: your mouth will feel really dry almost all the time. You can drink water endlessly to help with this, but it may never fully relieve the problem.
It can be caused by many things
There is not just one thing that can cause xerostomia; instead, there are a lot of different things that cause it. One of the top causes is certain medications. If you take medication for any reason, this could be what is preventing your salivary glands from producing enough saliva. If you think this is the issue, talk to your dentist about the medications you take. Another cause of dry mouth is smoking, because smoking tends to stop the salivary glands from producing enough saliva.
Additionally, some people have a higher risk of developing this condition, and this includes people who smoke or use other types of tobacco products, and people who take medications.
It can put you at risk for oral problems
Dry mouth can lead to bad breath and an uncomfortable feeling in your mouth all the time, but these are not the only problems it causes. Dry mouth actually puts you at a higher risk for developing cavities and other oral problems. This occurs because your mouth needs saliva, but with dry mouth your mouth will not produce enough saliva. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, helps you chew up food, and cleanses your teeth. Saliva produced in your mouth actually rinses your teeth all throughout the day, helping you eliminate the bacteria that leads to the formation of cavities.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you should talk to a dentist about it. Your dentist might be able to help you find the cause of your dry mouth, and this could be the first step in treating the problem. Find out more here, and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.