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Do You Have Dry Mouth?

Man Drinking a Glass of WaterDehydration and Dry Mouth can Affect Oral Health

If you only occasionally find yourself with a dry mouth, then it’s probably nothing to worry about. It’s just a natural sign of being thirsty. However, if lack of saliva flow becomes a chronic condition, then it can become a dental issue.

That’s because saliva has an important function in the mouth. It provides lubrication when eating and chewing foods, and its enzymes begin the digestion process by breaking down food. Even when not eating, saliva keeps teeth protected. A healthy flow of saliva coats teeth and soft tissues, creating a protective barrier against bacteria and decay. For this reason, those with chronic Xerostomia (dry mouth) often experience bad breath as well.

There are several steps you can take if you experience chronic dry mouth:

  • Stay Hydrated – Dehydration is a real danger, especially in the heat of summer or if working outdoors. Make sure to keep a bottle of water nearby and take water breaks often.
  • At Night – Snoring or mouth-breathing while sleeping can also cause a dry mouth. If you find yourself with a dry mouth at night, keep a glass of water on your bedside table or try re-brushing your teeth to get saliva flowing again.
  • Check Your Medications! – In older patients especially, many medications list dry mouth as a common side effect. Depending on your condition and the severity of your dry mouth, you may want to discuss other medication options with your doctor.
  • Other Options – Chewing sugar-free gum is an easy way to stimulate saliva flow, and certain over-the-counter mouth rinses are designed for dry mouth. If the problem persists, there are also prescription medications available to treat the condition. Ask your doctor or dentist!

About Dr. Jayson A. Chalmers

Jayson Chalmers was raised in Placerville, CA and graduated from El Dorado High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley. He went on to receive his dental degree from the University of California, San Francisco. After practicing as an associate dentist in Napa, CA, Dr. Chalmers returned to Sacramento to be closer to friends and family. He began practicing in his current location in January 2005.   Knowing that patients want to have the best options and treatment available to them, Dr. Chalmers has completed many hours of advanced educational training in general, implant, orthodontic, and cosmetic dentistry. He continues to learn and incorporate many of the latest dental technologies in his practice. Through the use of intraoral cameras, digital x-rays and computer imaging he can immediately show and explain all treatment options to the patient.   Dr. Chalmers is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Sacramento District Dental Society, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and is involved in local dental study groups. Dr. Chalmers also is an active participant in Smiles for Kids, where free dental services are provided to local children in need.   Dr. Chalmers and his wife, Desirae, are the parents of Ella and Ava. They are an outgoing family and are very involved in the Arden-Arcade community. As a family, they enjoy tending to their chickens and organic garden, splashing around in the pool and traveling to beachside locations. Dr. Chalmers personal interests include camping and fishing and watching and playing most sports.

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