Do you ever wake up after a night out drinking with your mouth feeling exceptionally dry? According to the National Health Portal of India, alcohol use is quite common in India both in rural and urban areas with prevalence rates as per various studies varying from 23% to 74% in males in general and although it’s not that common in females but it has been found to be prevalent at the rate 24% to 48 % in females in certain sections and communities. Even moderate drinking can affect your oral health. Read on to find out why drinking alcohol can cause dry mouth and what that means for your overall health.
Dry Mouth after Drinking Alcohol
According to the National Health Portal of India, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to reduced salivary flow over time, further it can lead to increased risk of tooth decay and other oral infections. In fact, many studies have demonstrated a decrease in salivary secretion in heavy drinkers. Not having enough saliva causes a condition known as dry mouth (also known as xerostomia). That’s why many people report experiencing dry mouth after drinking alcohol.
The same study also notes that alcohol acts as a diuretic. This means that your body experiences a decrease in the body fluid volume on account of chronic alcohol intake, resulting in an increased thirst sensation or feeling of dehydration. Heavy drinkers may find themselves increasingly in a state of dehydration or having a dry throat after a night of drinking alcohol.
Dry mouth can have an impact on your overall health. According to eDantSeva, saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion. So, a decrease in saliva flow can affect your digestion.
Dry mouth can also cause many complications with your oral health. These include:
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing, which can then result in poor nutrition
- Increase in plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease
- Cracked lips
- Mouth sores or sores at the corners of your mouth
- Yeast infection in your mouth (thrush)
Since dry mouth can impact your oral and overall health, you must treat it as soon as possible.
The National Health Portal of India suggests that try to curb the frequency of alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water to compensate for the dehydration.
- The Indian Dental Association also suggests to chew on a piece of sugarless gum, or suck on a piece of sugarless hard candy for 5 to 10 minutes every two hours.
If your symptoms persist, your dentist can help you manage the symptoms by prescribing a gel or rinse that will help keep your mouth moist. And don’t forget that practicing good oral hygiene is especially important for someone experiencing reduced saliva flow. Brush your teeth daily and clean between your teeth with floss, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners.
Experiencing dry mouth can make you feel uncomfortable and make it difficult for you to enjoy your favourite foods. If drinking alcohol is causing you to have dry mouth, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about how you can control your symptoms and feel comfortable again!
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.