Dry mouth with Invisalign is a common issue for clear aligner patients, and the cause comes down to saliva. Saliva is our body's natural way to keep our teeth and gums healthy and to help us properly digest food. Just like how we need to sweat to keep our bodies cool during a hot day, saliva is an important part of how our body functions.
But when you wear clear aligners for 22 hours per day, it can affect the natural production of saliva and lead to Invisalign dry mouth. That’s why dry mouth with Invisalign is a bigger concern than many people think. When your mouth is dry, it produces an unpleasant feeling and it also may affect your oral health. That’s why we’re taking a look at the different causes and solutions for dry mouth.
What are the Causes of Dry Mouth from Invisalign?
Before we begin exploring different dry mouth remedies, we should first address the causes of dry mouth
There is no singular cause for lack of saliva, so before you start looking for dry mouth remedies, take a look at some of the causes we’ve listed below.
- Medications - There are a lot of different medications that can cause dry mouth. For over the counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants, this is a temporary issue as your saliva production should return to normal after you stop taking these medications. However, for medications that are taken everyday, like antidepressants or certain asthma medications, then you will most likely need to talk to your doctor about your side effects.
- Diseases - Dry mouth is also a side effect of certain diseases that can become chronic if not treated properly. Some diseases that can cause dry mouth include HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, anemia, Parkinson’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Treatments - There are also medical treatments where dry mouth is an unfortunate—yet treatable— side effect. These treatments include chemotherapy which may damage your salivary glands over time.
- Nerve Damage - Certain neck and head injuries can prevent your salivary glands from functioning properly which causes dry mouth.
- Smoking - If you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products, then you are at a much higher risk for developing symptoms of dry mouth.
- Clear Aligner Treatment - Straightening your teeth with clear aligners can cause dry mouth, which can lead to Invisalign bad breath.
Now that we’re aware of the causes, let’s take a look at the effects of dry mouth.
What Are the Effects of Dry Mouth from Invisalign?
If you are experiencing the following symptoms you should search for dry mouth remedies
Bad breath is often caused by a dry mouth.
There are more symptoms of dry mouth than just an uncomfortable feeling. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you likely are experiencing chronic dry mouth. The most common dry mouth symptoms include:
- Uncomfortable dry mouth feeling
- Difficulty speaking properly
- Difficulty eating
- Trouble swallowing
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Excessive thirst
- Cracked lips
- Mouth sores
- Dry tongue
As you can see, chronic dry mouth will affect the way you live, eat, and drink. That’s why it is super important to address symptoms of dry mouth as soon as they appear.
How to Treat Dry Mouth
Learn how you can treat symptoms of dry mouth with these tips
Movemints contain a therapeutic dose of Xylitol which promotes saliva production.
Depending on what is causing your dry mouth, you may pursue different treatment options. We’re going to be going over a few options to temporarily relieve symptoms of dry mouth and some other solutions for long term relief. To help combat dry mouth symptoms, you can do any of the following:
- Chew sugar free gum
- Use a xylitol candy, like Movemints Clear Aligner Mints, to treat dry mouth during Invisalign treatment
- Avoid excessive caffeine intake
- Quit smoking/vaping/tobacco use
- Find an oral rinse that targets dry mouth
- Keep a water bottle with you wherever you go
These are all ways that you can encourage saliva production to relieve discomfort and make sure your teeth and gums are staying healthy. To solve dry mouth for good, you need to stop it at the source.
What About Long Term Dry Mouth Invisalign Remedies?
Long term dry mouth remedies will require collaboration with your dentist or your doctor
Ignoring dry mouth can lead to tooth decay.
If you are experiencing dry mouth due to an injury or medication you're taking, it is important to talk to your doctor and your dentist to come up with a solution. If your dry mouth is affecting your daily life or causing tooth decay, then you’ll need to find a permanent solution.
These solutions often include switching medications or undergoing treatment to restore your salivary glands. If you suspect that your dry mouth is due to medication you are taking, then you should talk to your doctor about alternative methods or safe ways to adjust your dosage.
To supplement your temporary solutions while you wait for a permanent solution, you should take extra precautions to avoid sugary foods and brush regularly to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
If you have more questions about dry mouth remedies or have more questions about general Invisalign care, check out our Movemints blog to answer every question you have about straightening your teeth with clear aligners! Your perfect smile could be just around the corner!