A dry mouth can seriously affect your ability to get a good night's rest. You may wake up in the middle of the night, stumbling around the house like a parched man in the desert looking for a glass of water.
A dry mouth can cause you to have bad breath, but no matter how vigorously you floss, brush your teeth and use strong mouthwashes, you can't seem to shake the ol' dragon breath. Dry mouth can be pretty irritating, but it can also lead to some severe health complications if left untreated. One way to alleviate dry mouth is by using essential oils for dry mouth, which can help stimulate saliva production and provide relief.
Saliva is instrumental in lubricating the mouth and maintaining tooth and gum health. The enzymes in saliva are also crucial in breaking down the food you eat before passing it on to the stomach. Read on to learn more about dry mouth, its consequences, and how you can treat it, including the use of essential oils for dry mouth.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a recognized oral health condition that can hinder saliva production. Saliva keeps your mouth lubricated and helps neutralize bacteria. Saliva washes away the food particles that could lead to the growth of bacteria. This disorder can affect the mouth's natural cleaning mechanism and should not be underestimated.
Symptoms Of Dry Mouth
A dry mouth can affect you at all times, or it can affect you only during the nighttime, affecting your sleeping patterns. This section will cover all of the symptoms associated with dry mouth.
If you have a dry mouth, saliva will not wash the food particles from the things you consume away, and bacteria will grow. This causes bacteria to grow in the mouth, breaking down proteins and releasing odorous volatile sulphuric compounds, causing halitosis. Since the bacteria will likely survive after you brush your teeth and use mouthwash, they will continue to produce this odor.
Thick Or Stringy Saliva
Because dry mouth causes a lack of moisture in the mouth, there is not enough moisture to thin your saliva, causing it to become thick and stringy.
Difficulty Speaking, Chewing, Or Swallowing
If your throat and mouth are dry, speaking, chewing, and swallowing will become increasingly difficult.
This can be quite an unpleasant part of dry mouth, as your throat may feel sore, or you could even experience a burning sensation.
This symptom is perhaps self-explanatory, but the lack of moisture in the mouth caused by dry mouth will cause you to experience dryness. When you experience dryness, you need as much moisture in the air as possible. Consider using a diffuser to provide humidity and essential oils like peppermint that stimulate saliva production, making them effective essential oils for dry mouth relief.
Unpleasant Taste Or Taste Changes To Food
If you love food, this can be a pretty disappointing dry mouth symptom. Since bacteria and leftover food are present in a mouth suffering from xerostomia, this can alter the way your tastebud receptors react to food. Your taste may change or lessen, or there could even be an unpleasant taste to the food you eat.
Increased Discomfort While Wearing Dentures
If your mouth isn't lubricated, then your dentures may start to dig in where they didn't before, causing discomfort.
If your mouth and throat are dry, this can give you a sore throat and make your voice hoarse, and you could even lose your voice. This can be quite a shame if you enjoy singing in the shower or in the car on your way to work.
Common Causes Of Dry Mouth
To find out the root cause of your dry mouth, it is essential to identify the cause. You can mitigate the symptoms of dry mouth using holistic therapies and tools, but it is also necessary to eliminate the cause and maintain your oral health.
Pain Medicines, Antidepressants, Decongestants, Blood Pressure Medications, Antihistamines, Muscle Relaxants, Beta-Blockers, AntiHypertensives, Diuretics
Ever considered that the medication you're on could be the cause of your dry mouth? The medications listed above all have dry mouth as a side effect. If you're taking any of these medications and experiencing dry mouth, consult your doctor to find a solution or switch medications.
Sjogren's syndrome refers to when the body cannot produce sufficient moisture, leading to dryness of the mouth and eyes. This syndrome can also cause joint pain, dry skin, rashes, and fatigue. It affects the whole body. You should seek medical advice immediately if you believe you have Sjogren’s Syndrome.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, this could be what is causing your dry mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth and other symptoms of diabetes, seek medical advice.
As if you need any more suffering during pregnancy, right? Unfortunately, dry mouth is yet another condition that women can suffer from during pregnancy.
No, we're not talking about Chernobyl. If you are receiving radiation therapy for the head, face, or neck, this can cause dry mouth. This should ease up once you finish your treatment.
Drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy can result in dryness of the mouth.
Many older people find that they suffer from dry mouth as they age.
Like with radiation, chemotherapy can cause dry mouth by causing damage to the salivary glands.
Nerve Damage To The Head Or Neck
If you have had recent surgery or have recently injured your neck and head area, this can cause nerve damage, leading to dry mouth.
Autoimmune diseases like Sjogren's syndrome can lead to dryness in the mouth.
People with Alzheimer's often have an increased risk of dryness in the mouth due to their failure to respond to the signals of thirst or forgetting to drink water regularly.
Snoring Or Breathing With Your Mouth Open
If you only suffer from a dry mouth during the night or when you wake up in the morning, this could be due to you sleeping with your mouth open or sleep apnea. The mouth is warm, and the water and moisture inside may evaporate (or be drooled out) when you are mouth breathing or suffering from sleep apnea.
Tobacco, Alcohol, Or Recreational Drug Use
Alcohol, recreational drug use, and tobacco can all cause dehydration that could cause dryness in the mouth.
Complications Of Dry Mouth
Simply having a dry mouth isn't the only problem here. Dryness in the mouth can lead to other complications down the line, as your mouth cannot perform its regular functions. Using essential oils for dry mouth can help alleviate some of these complications by stimulating saliva production and providing relief.
Increased Risk Of Plaque, Tooth Decay, And Gum Disease
The lack of saliva in your mouth won't just give you bad breath. Your saliva is instrumental in your mouth's self-cleaning functions, and if you don't have enough of it, this can increase your risk of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease.
If your dry mouth is caused by an autoimmune disease, like HIV/AIDS, this can cause you to develop sores in the mouth.
Yeast Infection In The Mouth
Oral candidiasis, also known as an oral yeast infection, causes white and yellow bumps in the mouth. Oral candidiasis is most prevalent in babies and toddlers.
Split Skin In The Corner Of The Mouth
When the mouth is dry, the lips can often become cracked, causing split skin in the corner of the mouth, mainly when broader mouth movements stretch it.
Chapped Or Cracked Lips
A dry mouth can cause chapped and cracked lips.
Poor Nutrition Due To Difficulty Eating Or Swallowing
If you have a dry mouth, this may affect your ability to eat or swallow, resulting in a poor diet. If left untreated, this could result in malnutrition. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if your dry mouth affects your ability to eat.
How To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping?
You can take several routes to provide yourself with self-care and prevent dry mouth while you are sleeping, including using essential oils for dry mouth. This section will cover how to avoid dry mouth while sleeping for those who suffer from a dry mouth at night or chronic dry mouth. Take a look at these 11 nighttime dry mouth remedies.
1. Hydrate Yourself Throughout The Day With Water
To produce enough saliva while you are sleeping, you should drink water regularly throughout the day and avoid salty foods that can cause you to become dehydrated.
2. Use Dry Mouth Moisturizing Spray
You can use dry mouth moisturizing spray at night or throughout the day to provide moisture in the mouth and stimulate saliva production. Unlike breath spray, it does not contain alcohol which can dry the mouth but still provides you with fresh breath to fight the halitosis caused by dry mouth.
3. Quit Smoking
Here's your sign to quit! The nicotine in tobacco reduces your saliva flow, causing your mouth to become dry. This can also apply to medical marijuana smokers that use tobacco. If you suffer from dry mouth caused by smoking, you should consider quitting.
4. Avoid Dry, Spicy, Acidic, Or Salty Food Before Bed
Before you go to bed, you should try to eat only moist and mild-flavored foods. Dry, spicy, acidic, and salty foods can all cause your mouth to become dehydrated.
5. Reduce Alcohol Or Caffeine Consumption
Alcohol, especially combined with tobacco, can cause dehydration leading to dry mouth. Reduce your alcohol consumption, or balance it out by drinking water between each alcoholic beverage.
Caffeine can also cause a dry mouth, so try herbal teas without caffeine instead of your regular caffeinated beverage.
6. Learn About The Side Effects Of OTC Medicines You Might Be Taking
Over-the-counter medicines will provide you with complete lists of side effects, and you should investigate any medications you are taking. If they have been known to cause dry mouth, you can switch medications and eliminate the cause of your dry mouth quickly.
7. Chew Sugar-Free Chewing Gum
Since chewing spurs saliva production in the mouth, you should consider chewing sugar-free gum to keep your mouth hydrated.
8. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride protects the enamel of your teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste will reduce your risk of tooth decay caused by dry mouth.
9. Use Dry Mouth Oral Rinse
A dry mouth oral rinse doesn't contain alcohol like most mouthwashes and stimulates saliva production. You can also try dry mouth lozenges and dry mouth toothpaste.
10. Make An Effort To Breathe Through Your Nose Rather Than Your Mouth
One of the ways you can lose moisture in the mouth is through the breath. If you find yourself breathing through your mouth during the day or at night, make a conscious effort to breathe through your mouth instead.
11. Use A Humidifier To Add Moisture To The Air Around You
If you spend a lot of time indoors, you may notice that the dry indoor air exacerbates your dry mouth. You can use a diffuser to add moisture to the air, with peppermint essential oil, which stimulates saliva production, and eucalyptus essential oil, which can prevent oral disease with its antiseptic properties. These essential oils for dry mouth can help provide relief and improve your overall oral health.
When To See A Doctor?
If your dry mouth symptoms persist despite the use of home remedies or affect your ability to perform everyday tasks, then you should consult your doctor or dentist. Some signs that indicate medical attention is required include:
- Mouth sores
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- You have trouble eating or a distorted sense of taste
- If you suspect your medication is causing your dry mouth
- If you suspect you have a cavity
- If your eyes are dry - this can indicate Sjogren's syndrome.
- If you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination
If you experience any of the above symptoms, please consult professionals for medical advice.
Dry mouth can be the source of much discomfort for those who suffer from it. The bad breath can be a source of embarrassment, too. Identifying the root cause of your dry mouth is crucial, along with trying home remedies, such as essential oils for dry mouth, that can ease your discomfort.
BluZen is a family-run business that focuses on providing its customers with the means to practice a holistic approach to their health and mental wellbeing. Our quality essential oils, including those for dry mouth, are designed to promote relaxation and health, enriching the lives of our customers.
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