Saliva is needed to moisten and cleanse the mouth, and to digest food. It also controls bacteria in the mouth, which helps prevent infection. When saliva production is too low, the mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Dry mouth has a number of different possible causes, including the following:
 

  • As a side effect - Dry mouth is a common side effect to many nonprescription and prescription drugs, including allergy, cold, pain, diarrhea and acne medications.  Dry mouth can also be a side effect to diabetes, cystic fibrosis, anemia, hypertension, stroke, and mumps.

  • Dehydration - Not drinking enough water, or having a condition that dehydrates the body such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dry mouth.

  • Tobacco - Smoking or chewing tobacco can lower the amount of saliva that your mouth produces.

 
It is often easy to tell if you have dry mouth, typical symptoms include a dry feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst, difficulty tasting, and bad breath. Along with those symptoms, dry mouth increases one's risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth infections.
 
If your dry mouth is caused by a certain medication, speak to your doctor, as there may be an alternative that will not cause dry mouth. Other things that you can do to promote saliva production are sucking on sugar free candies or chewing gum, drinking lots of water, breathing through your nose, and using a humidifier in the winter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.