You’re most likely to experience dry mouth (xerostamia) when you’re upset, nervous or under stress. But if you have dry mouth most of the time, you may need to consult your dentist or doctor about it.
Dry mouth is caused by an insufficient flow of saliva. It is not a disease but a common side effect of certain medications or a symptom of medical disorders. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging and left untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems.
Saliva does more than keep the mouth moist. It helps digest food, making it possible for you to swallow and chew. It is also one the body’s best defenses against tooth decay. Saliva maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth, and provides first-line protection against bacterial and fungal infection.
Without sufficient saliva, tooth decay and gum disease can occur. Dry mouth is also a known culprit behind chronic bad breath. If you’re using any of the medications mentioned above, or you feel like you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of dry mouth, consult your dentist or doctor immediately.