Why Is My Mouth So Dry?
There are many underlying reasons someone’s mouth may be dry. Here are the common causes and symptoms of dry mouth according to dental experts.
The moisture in our mouths is what helps keep our teeth and gums healthy. It’s also what helps us swallow our food, and even speak properly. Saliva is what helps the molecules and bacteria that are housed in our mouth break down and clean themselves. When our mouth becomes dry, it could be the cause of an underlying disease, or it could simply be a side effect of a pharmaceutical. Here are the common causes associated with dry mouth, and when it may be time to see a dental specialist.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Dry Mouth?
While dry mouth as a whole can be self-explanatory, there are some other common symptoms associated with it. The symptoms most often seen in dry mouth cases include:
What Can Cause a Dry Mouth?
Experiencing a dry mouth can be uncomfortable, and sometimes concerning. Whether or not the cause of your dry mouth is any reason for concern depends on various factors including your health history, genetics, or any drugs or supplements you may be using.
Autoimmune diseases are a common occurrence in many people. Chronic inflammation of the body over time can lead to illnesses such as Sjogren’s syndrome. This autoimmune disease affects the glands that make tears and saliva and is usually caused by the immune system attacking itself by mistake. When the immune system continually attacks itself, your body stops producing adequate amounts of saliva that the body needs to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Recreational Drug Use
Many drugs can also affect our salivary glands and lead to a dry mouth. Recreational drug use from stimulants such as cocaine, meth, and ecstasy, can all lead to dry mouth. Recreational marijuana is also even known to cause dry mouth. The reduction in saliva flow from these drugs causes not only dry mouth but also gum disease or tooth decay.
While dry mouth can be caused by recreational drug use, everyday medications can also lead to dry mouth. Some medications have the ability to suppress the production of acetylcholine (ACh), which is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the production of saliva. The suppression of acetylcholine can also affect the nervous system. Opioids, antidepressants, and allergy medications can all cause dry mouth.
In rare cases, an underlying illness could be the cause of dry mouth. Similar to an autoimmune disease like Sjogren’s Syndrome, dry mouth could be one of the tell-tale signs of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or HIV/AIDS. In most cases, dry mouth as a symptom alone is not enough information to diagnose any of these illnesses. Further evaluation from a medical professional alongside additional testing is needed to officially determine a positive result from any of these illnesses.
What Treatments Are There for Dry Mouth?
The treatment plan for dry mouth will depend on the underlying cause. If your case of dry mouth is simply due to the side effect of a medication, then the treatment may be simply to stop taking that medication or to find a replacement medication. Overall, whatever the cause, the goal of treatment will be to restore moisture in the mouth. Here are some of the common treatments for dry mouth:
How Can I Prevent Dry Mouth From Occurring?
To prevent dry mouth from occurring, it’s important to consistently take good care of your oral health, as well as your overall physical health. Taking care of your teeth and gums will help keep your mouth producing enough saliva to clean out the bad bacteria in your mouth. Another way to prevent dry mouth may be to assess your current medications or drug use and see if any of those substances could have an influence on your saliva glands.
If you have concerns about your dental health, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment today.
Worried about dry mouth?
Schedule a consultation with our dentists.
See What Our Patients Are Saying
"I came to see Dr. Standish on the recommendation of my grandmother and mother. Dr. Standish also made me feel welcome and answered all my questions. Eagle Harbor Dental is truly our family's dental choice for all dental needs. P.S. They have the MOST comfortable dental chairs I have ever sat in!"Read More
"From the Front Desk to the Dental Assistants - Eagle Harbor Dental is the epitome of what and how a dentist should be. The trust we feel for the staff and Dentist at this office are UNBELIEVABLE! We just wanted to THANK them in writing so our whole world knows JUST HOW GREAT THEY ARE!!"Read More
"Been going to see Dr. Standish for many years. My teeth were a mess when I first started and now I have no issues. I'm 67 years old, I have all my own teeth, and I'm good to go for a long time. Never thought it would be that way. Along with the great dental care comes the great people that work there."Read More
"What makes Eagle Harbor Dental amazing is the people who are awesome at what they do. The staff that work there actually make me look forward to going to the dentist. I moved to a different county, but still make the drive."Read More
"Love my Dentist office. Erin and Renee always go above and beyond to always make my visits a great experience."Read More
"They handled every step promptly and professionally. They were very up front about options I had and what costs to anticipate. Hire with confidence."Read More
"The dentist used to be my least favorite place to go. I have been so blessed to find Dr. Standish & Dr. Kelly. They are phenomenal. I recommend them to anyone looking for a competent, professional, gentle and caring dentist! You will not be disappointed when you go there."Read More
"Eagle harbor Dental is such so amazing, I have been going there for a while now and I have had alit if Work done recently. Everyone is so friendly and my dental hygienist which I see every time I go is amazing! She always makes me feel so comfortable. Thank you for being so great! "Read More
"Dr. Standish is a remarkable Dentist and he has an incredible staff. He has a wonderful personality and his staff follow his example. His office is very high tech, but he likes to refer to himself as "an old school Dentist"."Read More
"I am happy to have found Eagle Harbor Dental, and their great team. My first visit was to outline options for some dental work and they were very thorough in talking through options and next steps."Read More
"I had Dr. Standish recommended to me and I was immediately pleased with the recommendation, and the service received. Nice staff, lovely premises. treatments suggestions gone over thoroughly but nothing *pushed* on you. I definitely plan to continue coming here."Read More
"What a wonderful experience. Dr Standish and his staff are outstanding in every area. Beautiful facility. Could not have been more impressed."Read More
"Been going there for ever. Even the people I have referred love them. They are friendly, professional and very knowledgeable about what they do. They have state of the art equipment which make procedures a breeze. Dr. Standish knows that I have had some work done."Read More
Meet our Family of Dentists
Dr. Standish has been serving Clay County patients at Eagle Harbor Dental for over 30 years. His daughters Dr. Kelly & Dr. Erin joined the practice and they’ve been creating beautiful smiles as a family ever since. With extensive educations and memberships, our dentists are the best that Fleming Island has to offer.
We've Got You Covered
Insurance We Accept
Don't see your insurance listed? No worries! If you have a PPO plan, you can use it here.
Contact us to verify your coverage
Insurance We Accept
Learn how to improve your oral health more affordably.
Meet Our Dentists
Learn more about Dr. Standish & Dr. Kelly.
Read Patient Reviews
View some of our patients' stories.
Directions to Our Office
View directions to our conveniently located office.
Ready to get started?
Book your appointment
Give us a call
or send us a message using the form below