The mouth is one place where you can tell if things are off in the rest of the body when things go wrong orally. Whether it is tooth pain, neck, jaw, or other things related to the mouth, it is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Dry mouth can be irritating but it may also be a sign something more is going on. Find out what it means when you have dry mouth and how to seek help for any issues.
Why it Happens
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a condition where the salivary glands in the mouth does not produce enough saliva. It feels rough, perhaps your lips crack, and you just feel like you have a desert feeling going on in your mouth. Saliva is necessary for digestion. People who lack salivary glands or do not have well functioning ones often struggle to swallow or digest food well. Your teeth may also suffer in the long run without saliva because it helps protect the mouth against gum disease and dental issues like decay or cavities. Typically, dry mouth is a sign something else is going on in the body that needs a closer look.
Causes of Dry Mouth
Some of the causes of dry mouth come from medications or drugs people take for certain conditions. Other times, it may be caused by mental or physical issues, including:
- Marijuana use
- Autoimmune disease
- Getting older
For most people, the condition is treatable with some support from a primary care physician. It is important to look at underlying causes and not try to treat just the issue itself. In recovery from alcohol or drug use, you may know some of the reasons why it is occurring or maybe it popped up suddenly. The best way to beat dry mouth is to stay hydrated. The body needs a certain amount of water to stay hydrated, so make sure you are getting enough to drink. Watch out for caffeine intake of any kind or getting too much sugar. If you drink lots of calories per day in energy or caffeinated beverages, it might be a good idea to put them down for a short time and try drinking water. Journal what you notice and see if it makes a difference. The key is to speak with a primary care physician or someone overseeing your recovery program and make sure they know about the issue. They may suggest things to help you or offer support for ways to combat dry mouth if it is bothersome. Over time, it is possible to beat dry mouth and heal this issue with some tender loving care.
If you are struggling in recovery or need help with addiction and substance abuse issues, we are here to support your journey of healing. Our program is nature based but we have support wherever you are on the journey. Our goal is to provide a safe space to call home while you seek help for addiction. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.