Dry mouth is one of the most common dental problems experienced during the winter season. It is often caused by decreased saliva production of salivary glands, medications, and certain medical conditions. However, during the winter, most of us stay indoors as much as possible with the heat on, which draws out moisture in the air. We also tend to breathe through the mouth during winter, particularly if our we’re coping with a cold and have a stuffy, runny nose.
Saliva plays an important role in our mouth by helping to cleanse our mouth to prevent bacterial growth. Thus, dry mouth increases your risk for tooth decay and other dental infections.
Signs of Dry Mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing or talking
- Burning sensation, especially on the tongue
- Cracked lips or sores in the corners of the lips
- Bad breath
A few tips to manage winter dry mouth
Drink lots of water to keep your well-hydrated and your mouth moist. Also, water helps in flushing away toxins and food particles stuck in between teeth.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum can increase saliva production. But don’t forget to buy sugar-free or xylitol gum to prevent tooth decay!
It is advisable to have a room humidifier during the winter to increase the amount of moisture, especially at night. The drier the environment, the more you tend to breathe through your mouth which can cause your mouth to dry.
Toxins found in cigarettes can cause dry mouth. As a result, it is advisable for you to stop smoking not just to prevent dry mouth, but also to have a healthier lifestyle.
Avoid Mouth Breathing
As much as possible, minimize breathing through your mouth to prevent your mouth from drying.
Even more, you should keep up with good oral hygiene to prevent decay from developing. Remember, it is faster and easier for bacteria to grow and damage your teeth with dry mouth. If symptoms of dry mouth persist, drop by your dentist to further examine what might be causing it.