If you have suddenly started developing more cavities than you used to, then look into any medications you may have recently started that can cause dry mouth. Smoking can also contribute to a dry mouth. While a dry mouth has always been believed to be bad for your teeth, as saliva plays an important role in protecting them, a new study shows that a specific protein in saliva protects teeth even more than ever realized.
What does this mean? If you treat your dry mouth by using lubricating sprays, then you may want to start treating it in a way that increases your natural saliva production instead of using a product that just coats your mouth with artificial moisture. Try these methods to help increase your natural saliva production.
1. Try Prickly Ash Tincture
Prickly Ash is a tree that is harvested to use as an herbal remedy for dry mouth, among other health problems. The berry is considered more potent than the bark.
You can use the place a few drops of Prickly ash extract or tincture into a glass of water and drink several times a day to help combat your dry mouth. Alternatively, you can find tea made of Prickly Ash bark to brew and consume.
2. Consider Cayenne
There is anecdotal evidence that drinking a glass of water with a little powdered cayenne pepper mixed into it can stimulate saliva production. Some people also sprinkle cayenne on foods before they eat them.
While there are no scientific studies yet toting this as a successful remedy for dry mouth, it can't hurt to try it to see if it helps you.
3. Drink More Water
It is not what water does when it is inside your mouth that really helps your teeth, but it is instead what it does inside your body. When you are dehydrated, your mouth starts decreasing saliva production. By staying properly hydrated, you give your body what it needs to produce the saliva it needs naturally.
4. Chew Gum
The act of chewing increases saliva production in your mouth. While you can't chew on food all day, you can chew sugarless gum to kick your natural saliva production into high gear.
If you have any dental appliances in your mouth, such as bridges, then be sure to ask your dentist if you can chew gum with your dental appliance in place.
5. Eliminate Alcohol-filled Mouthwash
If you have dry mouth and use mouthwash that contains alcohol, then you are making your problem worse. If you like using a mouthwash after brushing to kill germs or use it throughout the day to freshen your breath, then opt for an alcohol-free version. There are mouth rinses that have alternative germ-killing ingredients in them that won't dry out your mouth.
However, don't stop any prescription mouthwashes that contain alcohol without permission from your dentist.
6. Ask Your Dentist About a Prescription Saliva-stimulator
Many people don't realize there are prescription medications that can combat dry mouth. One is called Pilocarpine, although there are others on the market. While most commonly prescribed to combat dry mouth that results from chemotherapy and a condition called Sjogren's syndrome, your dentist may consider you a candidate for the medication if you have severe dry mouth that cannot be combated with lifestyle changes.
If you have dry mouth that is compromising your dental health, then don't ignore it. Many people do, and they regret it later when they continue to develop cavities and tooth decay. Try herbs and lifestyle remedies to stimulate saliva production, but you may want to ask your dentist about prescription medication if you cannot control it on your own. Check out sites like http://www.centennialdentalcenter.com for more information.