Monthly Archives: April 2016

Why Is My Mouth So Dry At Night?

494183909A sound sleep is important for good health, but sleeping in peace is not so easy, more so if you wake up frequently at night with a dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia.

The exact causes of xerostomia vary, though if it occurs at night, it’s most likely because you snore while you sleep, or because you sleep with your mouth wide open. Factors such as stress and medication may also play a factor.

Regardless of what caused it, it’s important that you have your frequent spells of dry mouth at night checked by a healthcare professional. Saliva washes away bacteria and food, helping keep your mouth clean. This should already be understood, but saliva is important for your mouth, even when you’re asleep.

Another reason why you’ll want to have your condition checked is because it can cause your mouth to become red and irritated. This puts you at a higher risk for developing bacterial infections, which can affect the quality of your sleep even further.

Treating Dry Mouth At Night 

The first step in having your dry mouth treated is to talk to your dentist and ask for advice. However, for the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you.

One thing that you can do is to cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use.

Studies have also shown that avoiding sugary or acidic foods can help in that avoiding consumption of such food items can increase one’s risk for tooth decay, especially if one suffers from dry mouth. Though, if you insist on munching on something sweet, you can chew on sugarless gum or hard candy to help satisfy your cravings and stimulate saliva flow.

Drinking lots and lots of water during the day can also help, as frequent water intake can maintain, or increase the production of saliva.

Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse as opposed to an alcohol-based mouthwash can help keep your mouth from drying at night.

The air in your room may also be too dry at night, in which case, you’ll want to use a humidifier. Also, keeping a glass of water next to your bed can help so you can immediately sip on it if you wake up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night.

Treatment For Underlying Causes 

In some cases, Xerostomia may not be the biggest issue, but may only be a symptom of a worse medical condition.

If, for example, your dry mouth comes with a burning sensation inside your mouth, cracked lips, and more plaque, as well as halitosis, it may be signs that your dry mouth is not what it seems.

Then again, the only person who can tell if your dry mouth is caused by something worse is a dental or health professional, which is why it’s recommended to visit one if you’ve been finding yourself waking up at night with a dry mouth frequently.

If you are suffering from dry mouth, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.  

How To Stop Persistent Bad Breath

Fresh BreathBad breath is not something to take lightly and can easily put you in plenty of embarrassing social situations. However, the good news is that bad breath, more of than not, is preventable and easy to cure.

What Causes It?

To prevent and cure bad breath, you’ll need to understand first what causes it and at the same time, what it is.

For starters, bad breath is also known as halitosis, an unpleasant odor that often starts in the mouth.

Below are some of the most common causes of bad breath:

  • Eating certain types of food. While eating food and not brushing or flossing afterwards can cause bad breath due to bacterial growth, eating certain types of food can also affect your breath. Examples of such foods are garlic, onions and other types of spices, as they can affect the smell of your breath while they travel through your body.
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco. Anything that has to do with tobacco and your mouth can lead to bad breath. This is because of the distinct, foul odor that tobacco leaves in your mouth. Also, tobacco products can increase your risk for a variety of health complications that can also lead to bad breath, among many other things.
  • Not taking proper care of your teeth and gums. If you skip brushing and flossing your teeth for just one day, or even one meal, your breath is bound to smell bad. This is because of the remaining food particles in your mouth and the bacterial breakdown of these remnants. Your breath may also smell bad if you don’t take proper care of any dental appliances in your mouth, such as retainers, dentures, crowns and so on.
  • Dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, this means that there’s not enough saliva to help clear away food particles, which can lead to the development of a foul odor in your mouth. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently to prevent bad breath. It is worth noting that the side effects of certain medications can lead to a dry mouth and bad breath.
  • Certain medical conditions. Inflammation of the lungs, throat and sinuses can lead to bad breath, as well as certain respiratory infections. Diabetes, certain liver and kidney diseases and few other medical conditions have also been known to cause bad breath.

Fighting Bad Breath

The best way to prevent bad breath is to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, cleaning your tongue with a tongue scrapper and finally, flossing at least once. Doing all three can help remove as much food particles from your possible, the likely suspect whenever your breath smells bad.

If your breath still smells bad, despite following a strict oral care routine, it may be time to visit your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning. The latter is important as it helps remove all the bacteria and plaque that your regular oral care routine at home just can’t take care of, while a thorough checkup can help in finding out the possible underlying cause for your bad breath and how to treat it.

Do not be afraid to talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have about your bad breath. Chances are, they’ve encountered worse cases in the past and they’ll gladly reassure that you can feel confident about your breath again soon enough.

If you’re concerned about your bad breath, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.