What Specialists Treat Dry Mouth
The type of doctor who should treat dry mouth depends on the cause. A person noticing symptoms of dry mouth should first consult with their dentist for a consult and exam. A general dentist will do a review of medications, health history, lifestyle, diet, and other things that could contribute to dry mouth. They will then perform an intraoral examination to confirm diminished salivary flow and to determine the effects it has had on the dentition and oral tissues. The management and maintenance of oral health will be the most important element of this relationship.
If it is determined that there is salivary gland dysfunction, the dentist may partner with an ENT physician who specializes in salivary gland disorders to help improve the condition.
What You Can Do
You should talk to your doctor about your anxiety. They may adjust your medication or recommend therapies to help you cope with any frequent bouts of anxiety that you are experiencing. If severe anxiety is a relatively rare occurrence for you, you might be able to cope with it through non-medical strategies, such as by consciously slowing your breathing or taking a time out to care for your personal needs.
Your dentist in Creve Coeur is also an invaluable resource when it comes to conquering dry mouth. Some of the tips they might offer include:
- Use a mouth rinse that is designed to fight dry mouth. Your dentist may recommend or even prescribe a certain product.
- Track your water intake. Most adults need about two liters each day to stay properly hydrated.
- Chew gum or suck on sugarfree candy. Doing so can encourage saliva production.
- Attend regular dental checkups. If you frequently experience anxiety-related dry mouth, you are more prone to develop dental decay than the general population. Regular checkups will allow you to get cavities treated while they are still in their early stages.
Dry mouth and anxiety are often closely connected. The above strategies can help you to protect your oral health while you are working to cope with emotional distress.
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How To Treat Dry Mouth
Not that youre aware of the symptoms that may identify dry mouth, its important to discuss ways to treat the condition before major issues arise.
Learn to nose breathe: If youre otherwise healthy, theres a good chance that your case of dry mouth is related to mouth breathing. And if youve been mouth breathing for a long timeand have ruled out causes like sleep apnea or allergiesyou may want to make an appointment with a myofunctional therapist.
A myofunctional therapist can work with you to retrain the muscles of your mouth and lips to rest comfortably in a closed position. Your therapist may also work with you to find the root cause of your mouth breathing if youve struggled to uncover it on your own.
Try mouth taping: If youve ever been told that you snore at night, or if you know that youre a mouth breather, mouth taping may be a good option for you.
Mouth taping is exactly what it sounds likethe mouth is taped shut at night to encourage breathing through the nose. If you find that you cant get the tape to stay on overnight, its a good indicator that youre struggling to breathe through your nose and it may be worth speaking with an ear, nose, and throat specialist to find out whyespecially since mouth breathing is a primary cause of dry mouth.
Instead of eating these types of foods, focus on moist, lukewarm dishes, and consider following an anti-cavity diet to keep your mouth healthy while you solve your dry mouth problem.
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Consequences Of Dry Mouth
Cavities: You may think that poor brushing and flossing habits is the primary cause of cavity formation, but that distinction actually belongs to dry mouth.
Cavities are holes in your teeth that are formed by bacteria that excrete acids onto the teeth. These acids then eat away at enamel, causing decay. In a healthy mouth, saliva protects against these acids and prevent cavities by washing away harmful bacteria and supporting remineralization.
Dry mouth obviously disrupts this process by not allowing teeth to bathe in saliva, and it can also cause the pH of the mouth drop into the acidic zone, which further promotes cavities by allowing harmful bacteria to multiply. Even a few hours of dry mouth can disrupt the mouths microbiome and increase your chances of a cavity.
Imbalanced oral microbiome: Just like your gut, your mouth has a microbiome that affects your health. When the bacteria in your mouth are balanced, it promotes healing, remineralization, and an overall happy mouth. But when the oral microbiome disrupted due to dry mouth, leading to an overgrowth of bad bacteria and a decrease in the numbers of beneficial bacteria, the risk for infection, cavities, and oral yeast infection goes up.
Mouth sores: Without enough saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and hydrate delicate oral tissue, painful mouth sores can occur. These are especially common in cancer patients.
Poor Oral Hygiene Leads To Multiple Dental Issues
Stress can affect your oral health indirectly. When youre feeling under the weather, its more likely that you wont pay that much attention to the habits that are part of your daily routine. Poor personal hygiene often accompanies serious disorders such as major depression and psychosis, but even mildly increased stress levels can affect your oral hygiene in a negative way. Its a known fact that we smoke more when stressed, thinking that itll bring us relief. Regardless of the stress youre dealing with, remember that health is a priority. Taking care of yourself will make you feel much better.
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It Is Not Uncommon To Experience Dry Mouth As You Age But It Is Not Directly Caused By Age Itself It Has Many Possible Causes Including Age
You are even at higher risk to develop dry mouth if you breathe too often through your mouth rather than your nose!
Despite being uncomfortable, dry mouth alone is not a severe issue as long as it is not persistent. If it is, it can lead to various long-term health issues, ranging from irritating to dangerous. Someone who suffers from chronic dry mouth will likely experience mouth sores, splits at the corners of the mouth, cracked lips, increased plaque buildup & a greater risk of tooth decay & gum disease. You might even start to have nutrition issues, because the lack of saliva makes it more difficult to break down food when you eat.
Physical Symptoms You Didnt Know Were Caused By Stress
The way were feeling inside has a bigger physical impact than youd think.
The word stressful is commonly used these days as a throwaway term to describe any kind of less-than-ideal set of circumstances. But stress real, serious stress that can be caused by anything from moving house to starting a new job, or becoming a first-time parent can actually impact a person in a big way. And that includes physically.
With a Guardiansurvey carried out for Mental Health Awareness week revealing that three in four Britons have been so stressed that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope on at least one occasion in the last year, we wanted to look into the physical manifestations this kind of stress can have on a person.
We asked Nuffield Healths Brendan Street, whos Professional Head of CBT , to talk us through all the ways stress can turn into physical symptoms, because once you can identify stress, you can actually do something about it:
1. Feeling tired
Stress has a physiological effect on your body by releasing hormones into your bloodstream which accelerate your heart rate and your breathing. This constant strain on your system can have an exhausting effect, leaving you feeling tired all the time.
2. Teeth grinding
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The Link Between Anxiety And A Dry Mouth
Anxiety is a common cause of dry mouth. This is because when youre anxious, your body produces more adrenalin. This hormone causes the mouth to become dry by reducing the production of saliva.
Accordingly, people with anxiety are more likely to experience dry mouth and, as a result, develop dental problems. Saliva is important for keeping the mouth clean and healthy, and when it is not present, bacteria can build up and cause tooth decay and gum disease.
People with anxiety may also experience other symptoms that can impact their oral health. For example, they may have trouble sleeping, which can lead to a build-up of plaque and an increased risk for cavities. In addition, people with anxiety may grind their teeth , which can cause jaw pain and damage the teeth. So, when you notice such anxiety symptoms, it would be wise to find the best otc for anxiety or consult a mental health expert before the problem aggravates.
Emotions And Vision Issues
The term functional or hysterical vision loss is used to describe any vision impairment that cannot be explained by pathology or structural abnormalities. It has also been described as a conversion disorder.
This loss of vision occurs outside the patients conscious awareness.
The conversion is the repression of emotions that are converted to a significant reduction in vision. These patients complain of significant blur in the absence of refractive error or pathology .
These patients have no issues with ocular motility but do struggle with significant reduction in visual acuity. Their visual field is affected and appears to be tubular.
Hysterical amblyopia falls in line with Sarnos belief that our minds want us to focus on the physical symptoms rather than the difficult emotions.
Resolution often occurs with awareness of the condition, low plus lenses and/or the consideration of counseling to assist the patient.
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Dry Mouths Physical Effects
Dry mouth can be thought of as a lack of saliva in your mouth and can lead to discomfort and problems eating, swallowing, or speaking. It also plays an essential role in your long-term dental health.
Surprisingly, saliva is one of your bodys best tools for preventing oral problems and keeping your mouth moisturized and healthy. It helps maintain and support both hard and soft tissues, including your teeth and gums.
Your saliva is vital to your dental health, so much so that the American Dental Association calls it the bloodstream of the mouth. Because of this, a lack of saliva can disrupt your bodys proper functioning and lead to dental problems.
Saliva helps to:
- Wash out food matter and debris
- Break down food for swallowing and digestion
- Prevent cavities, gum disease, and infection
- Strengthen your enamel with minerals
Getting A Peaceful Nights Sleep
We all feel anxious at one time or another in our lives. Two thirds of Americans report having issues with anxiety and stress causing them to lose sleep. Anxiety disorders are associated with reduced sleep quality in a chicken and egg scenario where each tends to make the other worse. Knowing how to stop the vicious cycle is important so you can get on with enjoying your life.
But what is anxiety? Essentially, it is the bodys natural response to stress. You may feel fearful or apprehensive about making a decision or about the curve balls life might throw your way. You may feel unable to cope and that anxiety has started to interfere with your daily routine or affect your relationships with friends and family. If you are finding yourself agreeing to a lot of these, then speak with your doctor about your concerns.
Anxiety manifests itself differently for each person, but common symptoms include an increased heart rate and trouble sleeping. Having a dry mouth is also a physical symptom of anxiety and can further disrupt your sleep.
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Why Does Anxiety Cause Dry Mouth
Theres a few reasons for this, first of all when our body goes into fight, flight or freeze mode, your body redirects blood, oxygen and water to where its most needed. If youre running away or fighting someone, ensuring the roof of your mouth is moist is probably not a survival priority.
The next reason could be a result of breathing heavily through the mouth. When our brain perceives a threat and our body goes into survival mode, our muscles tense and our breathing quickens as if were about to race or strike out. If were breathing in this way, or hyperventilating for long periods of time, which happens during anxiety attacks, our mouth is naturally going to feel particularly dry.
Dry mouth might also be caused by dehydration or as a side effect of any medication you might be on, so you might want to take these into consideration.
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
A total of 247 patients referring to Zanjan Dental School were selected randomly and, after signing an informed consent form, were included in this study. Then a questionnaire on demographic data as well as dental and medical history was submitted to the participants.
Individuals under 18 years of age, those with a positive history of systemic disease and those taking any medications or smoking were excluded.
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A Pharmacist Can Help If You Have A Dry Mouth
Ask a pharmacist about treatments you can buy to help keep your mouth moist.
You can get:
- tablets or lozenges
Not all products are suitable for everyone. Ask a pharmacist for advice about the best one for you.
If your dry mouth might be caused by a blocked nose, a pharmacist may suggest to unblock it.
Does Stress Affect My Oral Health
Stress impacts the entire body. But many people fail to recognize the impact stress can have on their oral health. How does stress affect my oral health? Since the impacts of stress on the body and mouth arent obvious, regular dental exams and cleanings remain vital to finding these effects of stress and treating them. Whether caused by stress or not, helping people with dental issues is part of what we do at Matthews Family Dentistry.
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What Are Home Remedies And Treatment Options For Dry Mouth
Those seeking treatment for dry mouth will most likely want something to provide comfort and relief. Most are over-the-counter remedies. Treatment for dry mouth can be divided into the following four categories: saliva preservation, saliva substitution, saliva stimulation, and prevention of caries, and yeast infection.
Saliva preservation: If salivary content is low, one must do as much as possible to keep the oral tissues as moist as possible and limit the things that can dry the mouth out. Those experiencing dry mouth should try to breathe through their nose as much as possible, and limit mouth breathing. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco is very important. Using a humidifier to introduce more moisture to a room or at bedside can be helpful, especially while sleeping. Dont use OTC antihistamines or decongestants, as they can dry the mouth out as well.
Saliva stimulation: Chewing gum can help stimulate salivary flow, but it is important to remember not to use gum or candies that have sugar in them or the person will be placed at greater risk for developing cavities. Sugar-free lemon drops, lozenges, or other hard candies can also help stimulate the salivary glands. Other remedies include medications that help increase salivary flow such as pilocarpine and cevimeline . These prescription medications are to be avoided by people with asthma or glaucoma.
Causes Of A Dry Mouth
The main causes of a dry mouth are:
- dehydration for example, from not drinking enough, sweating a lot or being ill
- medicines check the leaflet or search for your medicine online to see if dry mouth is a side effect
- breathing through your mouth at night this can happen if you have a blocked nose or you sleep with your mouth open
- cancer treatment
- oral thrush
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The Connection Between Anxiety And Dry Eyes Disease
Dry eye disease is a common disease that can impair the quality of ones life significantly. Its prevalence multiplies with advancing age, stress, anxiety. The economic burden of the disease on both a patient and society can increase. The diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease are often difficult due to the discordance between symptoms and signs of the disease.
In this article, we will look at the connection between a mental state of anxiety and dry eye disease.
Anxiety and Dry Eyes
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How To Get Rid Of The Dry Mouth Anxiety Symptoms
When this symptom is caused by mouth-breathing, upset stomach, dehydration, or the side effects of medication, addressing the specific cause will eliminate dry mouth symptoms.
When this symptom is caused by an active stress response, ending the active stress response will bring a return to normal salivation.
Keep in mind it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response.
When this symptom is caused by hyperstimulation, eliminating hyperstimulation will eliminate its symptoms, including chronic dry mouth.
Containing anxious behavior, reducing stress, increasing rest, regular deep relaxation, regular light to moderate exercise, getting good sleep, and eating a healthy diet of fresh and whole foods can help the body recover from hyperstimulation.
As the body recovers from hyperstimulation, it stops presenting symptoms, including dry mouth.
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