You've had, like everyone, your moments of dry mouth, when your tongue seems to stick incessantly to the roof of your mouth. Usually, this is solved by a few glasses of water in the moment and upping your water intake in general in order to prevent the cavities that normally come as a result of dry mouth. However, there are some cases of dry mouth that all the water in the world can't cure; so what are you going to do about those times when water just won't do? If you're wondering about the causes of dry mouth and how you can solve this parching problem, then here's what you need to know.
It May Be Your meds
There are hundreds and hundreds of medications that list "dry mouth" as a notable side effect – but you might not have realized until the actual dry mouth set in and you checked your pill bottle. This can be particularly concerning f you're taking medications for conditions like high blood pressure or mental health problems, or if you're currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy (which can damage saliva glands or thicken your saliva). Since these medications are typically vital to your continued health and happiness, try sucking on hard candy (sugar-free if you can manage it) or chewing gun; both of these help increase saliva production -- and saliva helps to keep cavity-causing bacteria away from your teeth.
Your lifestyle could cause it
Medication isn't the only reason your mouth could be dry – you could be making it dry with activities such as smoking or chewing tobacco, which can sap the saliva from your mouth. On the other hand, if you don't smoke or chew, you could be breathing constantly with your mouth open, whether during the day or at night. To fix this problem, try to quit your smoking and/or chewing habit, and become more conscious of the way you breathe during the day. Even better, if you do have a nicotine issue, nicotine gum can help wean you off the chew or smokes while promoting saliva production.
You might be dehydrated
You might say, "but wasn't this article about dry mouth that can't be cured by water?" But this isn't your normal, everyday dehydration – this is dehydration caused by medical conditions common enough that you might not think twice about them when considering the cause of your dry mouth. Things like vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, or even a fever could cause enough dehydration that your mouth will get chronically dry – especially if you have these conditions over the course of a few days or even a week. The best thing you can do to get rid of this is by drinking liquids with electrolytes (such as any sports drink on the market) and helping the vomiting/diarrhea/fever to pass as quickly as possible.
Check With Your Dentist
If none of these causes jump out at you as the source of your dry mouth, talk to your dentist. As a dental care professional, your dentist should be able to, with your help, identify the source of your dry mouth and recommend a treatment plan that will rehydrate your mouth and keep those dry-environment-loving cavities at bay.