Dry mouth is an uncomfortable problem that affects roughly one in four adults(1). When your body isn’t producing enough saliva, you can experience problems with chewing and swallowing. Many people also develop bad breath and, if left untreated, over time this develops into halitosis.
How to alleviate bad breath or halitosis
Two of the key areas to focus upon when trying to get rid of bad breath caused by dry mouth is hydration and oral hygiene. Ensure you are brushing twice a day minimum, flossing daily, and using an alcohol free oral rinse for fresh breath confidence such as UltraDEX. Also aim to drink around 2 litres of water a day(2), the recommended amount for adults. This will keep your mouth moist and also help wash debris or bacteria away between brushing which are key bad breath triggers(3).
Why is saliva important?
Saliva is integral to the overall function and hygiene of the oral cavity. Not only does saliva enable us to taste, swallow, speak and digest food, it also helps protect our teeth and mouth from infections. Although saliva is 99% water, the remaining components of electrolytes, enzymes and proteins are extremely important for a complete and healthy oral function(3).
Dry mouth and your teeth
Without ample saliva being produced, the likelihood of developing plaque, which leads to tooth decay or even tooth loss, is heightened. If you are struggling with a dry mouth and are waiting to see a medical professional you can help yourself by brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing daily, and using a gentle toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Causes of dry mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors, these include:
- Certain types of medication
- Stress or anxiety
- Poor dental health
Prolonged dry mouth
Whilst many people go through spells of having a dry mouth, if episodes are prolonged or it becomes your new normal, you need to seek medical help. Dry throat, mouth sores and cracked lips are side effects of long periods of dry mouth.
- Dentistry iQ. 2006. Facts about dry mouth. Available online: https://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/rdh/2006/05/facts-about-dry-mouth.html
- Gunnars, K BSc. 2016. How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? Available online: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day
- American Dental Association. Unknown. 4 Reasons Water Is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth. Available online: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/water-best-beverage