How Dry Mouth Leads to Bad Breath

What is Xerostomia?

Xerostomia, otherwise known as dry mouth, usually occurs when the production of saliva slows down. These barren conditions result in difficulty speaking, sore throat and the inability to find a glass of water large enough to quench the thirst. In persistent cases, it can also lead to bad breath. Why? The natural saliva that has so mysteriously seemed to vanish has a job to do: flushing bacteria and leftover food particles from your mouth. Without saliva to flush them away, the bacteria and debris start to break down, creating an unpleasant odor.

8 Causes of Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Some of the things that can cause dry mouth are 

  1. Certain medications, including those for blood pressure, antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can decrease saliva production 
  2. Radiation treatments
  3. Salivary gland diseases
  4. Diabetes
  5. Mouth breathing
  6. Sleep apnea
  7. Certain autoimmune disorders
  8. People with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia
  9. Women who are pregnant or nursing can develop dry mouth because of dehydration and hormonal changes.

Other Factors That Can Cause Dry Mouth:

  1. Stress
  2. Anxiety 
  3. Depression.

Risk Factors of Dry Mouth If Left Untreated

If left untreated, dry mouth, can lead to decaying teeth, cavities, difficulty eating or talking and even a loss of teeth.

Prevention & Treatment of Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

You can treat the side effects of dry mouth by following the simple remedies: 

  1. Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva without coating the teeth with excess sugars 
  2. Rinsing with mouthwash to kill bacteria, remove food particles and keep the mouth moist
  3. Limiting caffeine intake
  4. Drinking lots of water.