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Two Odd Reasons You May Be Suffering From Dry Mouth

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Saliva production is critically important to your oral health. It helps remove food particles and bacteria, two things that can contribute to cavities and gum disease. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, occurs when there isn't enough saliva in the mouth. There are several reasons this can occur, but here are two odd ones that may be the source of your problem if no other issue appears to be the culprit.

Lack of Adequate Humidity

Humidity is the amount of moisture content in the air. The only time people really think about the humidity is when there's too much or too little of it. The truth is humidity is just as important to good health as anything else, and being in a space with very little humidity can cause dry mouth in a couple of different ways.

First, dry air can pull moisture from the mucus membranes of your mouth, throat, and nose, leading to problems such as dry mouth, cracked lips, and nasal inflammation. It's why many people who are used to being places with normal or even high humidity will suffer from bloody noses when they get to dry areas.

Second, low humidity can contribute to dehydration because of the aforementioned tendency of dry environments to pull moisture from any place it can, including the body. Not only will you lose moisture from your oral and nasal cavities, but your skin as well.

To combat this problem, it's important to drink adequate amounts of water. Running a humidifier to keep the space at an optimal humidity level (between 40 and 60 percent) is also a good solution. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean; otherwise, it may grow mold that can aggravate your lungs and cause other health problems.

Snoring or Sleep Apnea

A second odd thing that may be causing your dry mouth problems is snoring or sleep apnea. Many times people suffering from either of these conditions will end up sleeping with their mouths open during the night. As you can imagine, the constant flow of air through an open mouth can quickly dry out oral tissues. If you wake up feeling as though you swallowed a bunch of cotton balls or your tongue feels sticky, dry, and bumpy, this may be source of the problem.

Fixing a snoring or sleep apnea issue depends on the cause. Excess weight is a common cause, so losing a few pounds may help immensely. You may be breathing through your mouth because your nasal passages are blocked, so using nasal strips or clearing up any nasal issues you're having (e.g. blocked sinuses) can also be beneficial. It's best to consult with your healthcare provider for advice on how best to deal with a snoring or sleep apnea problem.

For more information about dry mouth causes or help dealing with this issue, contact a dental health provider like Little Peoples Dentistry.