Is Having a Dry Mouth a Problem?

Causes and effects of dry mouth and how your Sutton Coldfield dentist can help.

Many of us have probably experienced a dry mouth at some point in our life and dismissed it as ‘just one of those things’.

In most cases, the occasional dry mouth should cause few problems but, for those who suffer from this regularly, it can be potentially harmful to your oral health.

What causes a dry mouth?

There can be a number of possible causes for having a dry mouth. The most obvious of these, of course, is a lack of hydration. This should not really be a problem these days as bottled water is both convenient and widely available. The trick, of course, is to drink before you are thirsty to avoid its onset.

Alcohol and smoking too are common causes of a dry mouth as anyone who has woken up after an overindulgent night out can attest. Mouth breathing too is likely to increase it happening.

Some medications and medical conditions may also lead to a lack of saliva too.

Problems arising

A lack of saliva can cause a number of issues such as a loss of taste, difficulty in swallowing and cracked lips; from a dental perspective, the effects can be quite disastrous.

The main concern for patients of Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham is that a dry mouth greatly increases the risk of gingivitis.

In normal circumstances, the bacteria which can lead to gingivitis are present in the mouth but are regulated by the saliva washing them away.

Without a regular saliva flow, the number of bacteria can increase dramatically and lead to a buildup of plaque. This, in turn, is likely to lead to gingivitis, or gum disease.

Gingivitis may not only cause soreness and even a little bleeding of the gums, but can, if ignored, lead to damage to the bone holding the tooth in place, potentially resulting in tooth loss.


A less ‘disastrous’ effect but one that none of us want is bad breath or halitosis.

This is not the bad breath of say garlic or coffee, but a more invasive smell which is caused by the rotting away of the gums. This smell is likely to lead anyone you are talking to to move back involuntarily and, as you can imagine, this can have negative consequences for your social life.

If you do suffer from a dry mouth, for any reason, it is especially important that dental check ups are carried out on a regular basis to keep any gum disease in check.

To arrange a check up at our Sutton Coldfield dental practice, please call us on 0121 323 4492.