In an article published by Colgate, Jae Curtis says that one must not ignore the symptom of a dry mouth since it could lead to deteriorating oral health. This is because a dry mouth is associated with a lack of saliva in the mouth, and saliva plays a major role in maintaining your oral health. “It may not seem like a big deal that your mouth gets a little dry at night. But before you completely dismiss your symptoms and the discomfort that comes along with a dry mouth at night, consider what that lack of saliva could be doing to your oral health and quality of life. What may seem like a little annoyance could be doing big damage to your teeth, so it’s worth talking to your doctor about it.”
You may be asking, “What could possibly be causing me a dry mouth at night?” There are a few common causes of having a dry mouth at night. Consider the following:
- Smoking or drinking
- Autoimmune disorder
- Specific medications
Although these are the common causes, there could be other underlying causes too. And now we answer why you should not be ignoring the symptom.
The first thing that you should know is the fact that saliva is responsible for keeping the mouth clean and even fighting bacteria away from your mouth.
Thus, when you have a dry mouth at night, you are creating room for harboring bacteria inside your mouth. You sleep for hours and hence, you would not even be drinking water for the entire night. This rules out any chance of the bacteria getting washed away.
With a lack of saliva, your teeth eventually become susceptible to bacterial infection and thus, cavities.
It is also set to give you a persisting bad breath. Yes, you guessed it right! With the increased bacterial content due to lack of saliva in the mouth, your mouth gives off a bad smell!
Your saliva is also responsible for facilitating your digestive system. This is because it helps in breaking down food particles into simpler forms. With a lack of saliva, you might even experience problems in your digestive system. Most evidently, you may face some difficulties while swallowing your food, since they are not properly broken down.
With the increased bacterial content in your mouth and possible dental infection, the food you eat could be containing bacteria when it reaches your stomach. This could even give you food poisoning.
Thus, having a regular dryness in your mouth at night could lead to infection, cavities, bad breath, digestive problems, and even food poisoning, in case you thought that it is just one of those things that does not require much attention!
When should I be concerned?
You may experience dryness in your mouth for 1 or 2 nights. The third night is when you should be concerned about it. If the dryness persists, that is when you should be considering calling your dentist!
Remember, a dry mouth could also be a sign of something as severe as oral cancer. Thus, no matter what, if untreated for long, you could be suffering from major oral health problems, which could be taking a toll on your digestive system as well.