We’ve probably all experienced a dry mouth at one point or another, thanks to dehydration. But what you may not know is that there’s a different type of dry mouth - chronic dry mouth - that can be much more difficult to get rid of than by simply drinking water. For this type of dry mouth, there can be many causes that you may not even realize are there.
Dry mouth is more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience. It can cause cavities because the lack of saliva in your mouth means you aren’t washing away harmful plaque bacteria in your mouth. If you’re wondering why your mouth is always dry, here are just a few surprise causes of dry mouth, and what you can do to fix it.
While there are numerous drugs that can cause dry mouth as a side effect, the most common culprits are antidepressants and antihistamines. Other medications include those that treat high blood pressure medication, pain medications, muscle relaxers and more. If you think your medication may be causing your dry mouth, speak to your doctor.
For millions of Americans with sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is literally a lifesaver. But all that air being pushed into your airway can take a toll on your mouth as you sleep, causing dry mouth. While dry mouth from CPAP therapy isn’t considered chronic, it is still drying out your mouth for an extended period of time. It is important to note that even though your CPAP machine may be drying out your mouth, you should still stick with your CPAP therapy program and work to address the dry mouth separately.
In contrast to CPAP therapy, not treating sleep apnea or snoring can also dry out your mouth. If you are snoring and have dry mouth, it is important to address both the dry mouth and the snoring. Speak with your doctor about a sleep study as well as your dentist about dry mouth.
Diabetes is another cause of dry mouth and can often be a warning sign that you have the illness. Dry mouth is common in diabetics because the ketones in the body lose fluid, causing insufficient saliva production.
You already know you shouldn’t smoke and that smoking causes a long list of health problems, but it can also cause dry mouth. Combined with all the other negative effects smoking can have on your mouth (bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss), causing further risk with dry mouth is just a bad idea.
How to Fix It
There are several ways to fix dry mouth. In some cases, like smoking, it may just entail quitting the behavior causing the dry mouth. For other causes, speak to Dr. Lederman about prescription products that can help keep the mouth hydrated - and always drink plenty of water.
Need to talk to Dr. Lederman about your dry mouth? Give our office a call at 516-882-1764 to make an appointment today.