There are many conditions that contribute to dry mouth. Many medications, like high blood pressure meds, anti-anxiety, anti-depressants and chemotherapy, can cause saliva flow to decrease, sometimes dramatically. Besides being uncomfortable, dry mouth and decreased saliva flow puts you at a greater risk for cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Alcohol consumption, smoking, breathing through your mouth, dieting, fasting, and talking for long periods of time can also contribute to bad breath.
In all of these cases, frequent sips of water can help wash away the bad bacteria, dilute and remove VSC and keep your mouth moist. Reduction in saliva flow is the main cause of “morning breath.” Many breath mints work more so because they stimulate saliva flow rather than just cover up breath odors. Tart mints, like lemon or other citrus-flavored ones, work especially well to stimulate saliva flow. Chewing sugarless gum is a fairly good option after a meal if you cannot brush your teeth right after. Many gums and mints now contain xylitol, a sugar substitute, which has been shown to prevent tooth decay by creating an inhospitable oral pH for cavity-forming bacteria. For some patients, frequent water consumption, mints and gums may not be enough to stimulate saliva flow. For these patients, Dr. Alfe prescribes GC Dry Mouth Gel.
To learn more about dry mouth treatments in Chicago or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gerilyn Alfe, please contact Chicago Smile Spa or call (773) 348-2704. Dr. Alfe is proud to serve patients throughout the greater Chicagoland area including Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding Chicago communities.