Oral health care and hygiene for most people consists of two things; clean teeth and fresh breath. So the most common ways for people to take care of their #mouth are brushing teeth, maybe flossing, and using some kind of #mouthwash.
But while all of these methods are actually solid components of good oral hygiene, that’s not the complete picture of what oral hygiene is. The gums are an important part of your mouth, the tongue is important and even the saliva that is produced within the mouth are all critical elements of a healthy mouth, and ignoring any of these parts of your mouth can lead to problems that go beyond discomfort and may cause severe challenges for speaking or even eating.
Xerostomia, for example is condition that many people simply don’t think about, but one of the best ways to treat it—or prevent it from happening all together—is the diligent use of a mouthwash for dry mouth.
What Is Xerostomia?
While the medical term is the almost alien-sounding “Xerostomia,” most people will be familiar with its primary symptom, which is a dry mouth. Xerostomia is a medical condition that describes a mouth’s inability to create the normal amounts of saliva that a healthy mouth generates.
This may not seem like much of a problem to many people as everyone’s experienced a parched or dry mouth from time to time. But there’s a big difference between a little bit of temporary dryness in the mouth that is quickly solved with a drink of water, and a chronic, long lasting condition with a serious health impact that needs a mouthwash for dry mouth to help treat.
Dry Mouth Causes
10% of the population suffers from some form of Xerostomia, though for reasons not yet fully understood, the percentage of female sufferers is higher than male. Xerostomia is not like a specific disease, contracted in just one way. It’s a condition that can arise from any number of causes.
Xerostomia can sometimes be a side-effect of certain medications. If you have a specific kind of sensitivity to anti-histamines, are on a prescription for certain blood pressure medicine, or have even noticed a drier mouth after beginning a course of anti-depressants, it’s possible that the medication you’re taking may be causing dry mouth as a minor side-effect.
In more serious forms of medical treatment, Xerostomia may be an expected side-effect. For radiation or chemotherapy courses that are focused on the jaw or neck, for example, the “scorched earth” approach of these treatments will affect the gums as much as the cancerous cells they are supposed to fight, and so a high degree of Xerostomia will naturally result.
Xerostomia can even come about as a result of behavioral disorders, or other medical problems. Excessive breathing through the mouth, for example, can cause Xerostomia, while other problems such as sleep apnea, bulimia and even pregnancy are all capable of complicating health and require a mouthwash for dry mouth.
Dry mouth doesn’t seem like a particularly dangerous condition, but, depending on the intensity and duration, this can have adverse effects not just on oral health, but general wellbeing as the condition worsens.
Saliva plays a very important role in oral health. In addition to keeping the mouth moist, it provides a protective layer against bacterial infection, fighting germs and preventing them from working their way into the gums and causing sores, pus and other ill effects. Without the protection of saliva, the mouth is more prone to ulcers, sores, and friction related problems.
Saliva also aids in your ability to taste things. Because saliva helps in the early stages of digestion in your mouth, it acts as solvent, helping to soften—and even spread—food more evenly through your mouth, allowing your tongue to taste more of what you’re eating. Without saliva, you’re actually tasting less of the food you eat.
Given enough time, the accumulation of sores, infections and other oral problems can have a big impact on a person’s ability to speak and eat. Opening the mouth can become extremely painful, and even chewing and drinking can become an ordeal. This doesn’t just affect health, but quality of life as well.
While there are a number of different solutions to treating Xerostomia, one general remedy that helps in every case is the regular use of a mouthwash for dry mouth. A specially formulated mouthwash for dry mouth will address the specific needs Xerostomia sufferers have. The wash moistens the mouth, provides much needed disinfectant properties to supplement what the saliva should be doing, and even has healing properties to help with any infections or other disorders that may have already arisen as a result of the dry mouth taking hold.
A mouthwash for dry mouth isn’t necessarily going to be the final “cure” for the condition, since any number of causes may be behind the problem. But by regularly using it, this provides relief, healing, and can accelerate the recovery process. Combined with other treatments, a mouthwash for dry mouth is an effective way to combat Xerostomia symptoms and keep your mouth healthier and better able to recover.
If you or someone you know has Xerostomia and would like to know more about how a mouthwash for dry mouth can help. Contact us today for more information and assistance. We’ll be glad to help.