Taking medication that your doctor prescribes is a must, but prescribed medications can have unwanted side effects. One of the most common problems that people face, when taking medications, is the side effect of dry mouth. If you've noticed that your mouth seems like it's chronically dry, it could be causing issues with your oral health. Here's what you should know about your condition and what it could spell out for your dental health future.
Why Dry Mouth is Such a Problem
People don't typically think about how much saliva they produce until they stop producing enough of it. The reality, however, is that, under normal circumstances, the body creates a tremendous amount of saliva every day.
Saliva does more than help you to swallow and digest your food. Saliva acts like running water for your teeth, constantly helping to flush debris and bacteria away. When there's less of it, this action becomes less efficient. As a result, lots of people with dry mouth end up developing issues like cavities and gum disease.
Talk to Doctor
While you should never discontinue your medication, it might be worth discussing this side effect with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to adjust your prescription, to lower the dosage, or switch you to a similar drug that might not give you dry mouth. Make a note of this issue and bring it up during your next appointment with your general physician or whoever prescribed the medication to you.
Make a Plan With Your Dentist
With dry mouth comes the need to see a dentist more often. You should plan on visiting your dentist to establish your baseline dental health. From there, your dentist will decide how often you should come in for regular cleanings.
By maintaining a more regular schedule with your dentist, you can help to avoid some of the damage that dry mouth can do to your oral health. Your dentist can also provide you with or prescribe medications that can help to increase the amount of saliva that your mouth produces on a daily basis, which may help to mitigate this problem.
In addition, your dentist may help you to add new methods and techniques to your oral health care regimen at home. Adding new tools, like a water flosser, may help to blast away unwanted plaque and bacteria that would otherwise cause problems for a mouth with less saliva.
Dry mouth is a serious problem and one that deserves the attention of a dentist. Visit yours and set up recurring appointments, to ensure that you stay on top of your oral health and don't suffer any dental problems due to dry mouth.