When your mouth is drier than the Sahara Desert!

You don't even have enough saliva to lick an envelope closed. Perhaps you could envisage a tumbleweed rolling across your incisors, like a desert landscape. How does your mouth get so dry? And what can you do about it? 

For most people dry mouth comes and goes, fluctuating with dehydration caused by exercise and decreased water intake. Our saliva flow also naturally decreases at night time, and dry mouth in the morning is relatively normal for most people, exacerbated in those that breath through their mouth. For others, problems with salivary glands, autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy to the head and neck and medications can all play a part in affecting saliva flow for longer. 

Addressing dry mouth is important as, not only can it be uncomfortable, but it can cause poor mouth health. Saliva is important to maintain a healthy bacterial "oral flora" and is crucial in helping to buffer against acidic, decay-causing bacteria. 

The simplest strategy to address transient dry mouth is to increase water intake. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help. 

For long-term sufferers, in addition to the above strategies there are a number of rinses, gels and mouth sprays on the market which can help manage symptoms of dry mouth. For those left at higher decay risk, a high-fluoride regime may also need to be added to help protect the teeth. To get a tailored management plan, your friendly Northbridge Dentists team have the answers and are always happy to help.