A Dry Mouth Is An Open Door To Oral Bacteria.

Posted on Dec 19, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Several decades ago, Americans were advised to drink between 6-8 glasses of water per day. I must admit, when I first heard the recommendation I thought, “That’s not only a tremendous amount of water, I’ll be making bathroom stops all day!”

Although the bathroom issue was not as much of a problem as I felt it would be, drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily actually turned out to be easier than I originally felt. Now that I’m in the habit of it, I am more conscious of a ‘parched’ feeling when I fall short of that amount.

By nature, our mouths are designed to be a moist environment. The tissues in our mouths are kept moist by saliva flow. When saliva is flowing at a healthy level, the oral tissues are moist and bacteria-causing food particles move through the ‘oral cavity’ on a continual basis, keeping the mouth rinsed.

For your body to function properly, water is a dire need. You need water for proper

• Circulation
• Metabolism
• Body temperature
• Waste removal & detoxification

Hunger or sugar cravings are often signs of being dehydrated. Other signs are bad breath, headaches, mood swings, fatigue, chills, muscle or joint aches, constipation or dry skin.

Interferences can occur with saliva flow, and there are many. These include the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as herbal supplements that contribute to oral dryness.

Oral dryness can also occur with health conditions such as sinus infections, mouth breathing (including snoring), Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and is a normal part of the aging process.

Often, what we drink can actually worsen oral dryness. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and colas are drying to the mouth as are beverages containing alcohol (including beer and wine).

For most of us, it is wise to supplement oral moisture with drinking plenty of water. Begin with a glass of water when you first awaken. It is normal to be somewhat dehydrated after a full night’s sleep so drinking water the first 15-30 minutes you’re awake helps your entire body re-hydrate, and especially your mouth.

Try to always have a glass of water near you. When you will be away from home or your desk at work, carry bottled water with you. Try to consume two glasses of water between breakfast and lunch and another with lunch. After lunch, drink another 1-2 glasses before dinner and a glass after dinner.

The color of your urine is an indication of whether you are drinking a sufficient amount of water. Urine that is nearly clear is ideal, meaning you are providing your body with ample water to keep it properly flushed. As urine becomes more yellow or even brown (an indication of dangerous dehydration), it should be a warning sign that you need to drink more.

Once you’re in the habit of drinking water on a regular basis, you’ll start to notice the moist feeling in your mouth. The tissues in the mouth will not only feel more comfortable, your oral health will improve as oral bacteria are more efficiently moved out of the mouth.

Pure, filtered water is best. Avoid bottled waters that are flavored with sweeteners or chemical flavorings. If you want to add flavor to your water, add sliced strawberries or cucumbers.

If you feel a supplement is needed to replenish oral moisture, there are several good products specifically formulated for this, which are available over-the-counter. These are used similar to a mouth wash and can support you in having a healthier mouth.




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