If you suffer from dry-mouth, it’s not only inconvenient, but it can be unhealthy. If your mouth feels dry a lot, the condition increases your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other ailments. That’s because saliva doesn’t just wet your whistle, it also controls bacterial growth by washing away food and plaque. Dry mouth can be a side effect of more than 400 medications, including antidepressants, sedatives, allergy remedies and antacids. It’s also caused by fluctuating estrogen levels. But the problem can be a red flag for serious conditions too, such as uncontrolled diabetes, lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome. If you’re always parched, see your physician to help find the cause. And follow these steps suggested by the American Dental Association:
1) Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow, especially after meals or snacks;
2) Sip water frequently to keep your mouth moist and reduce harmful sugar and acid buildup on teeth; and
3) Try a gel, spray or rinse designed to replace moisture and lubricate the mouth to help fight bad breath. Try Biotene or consult your dentist for a prescription.