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5 ways anxiety causes dry mouth and how to prevent it

Anxiety can cause dry mouth in various ways, from increased stress levels to medication side effects and poor oral hygiene. However, by managing stress, staying hydrated, and practising good oral hygiene, you can prevent dry mouth and its associated discomfort.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: May 21, 2024 18:23 IST
dry mouth due to anxiety
Image Source : SOCIAL Ways anxiety causes dry mouth and how to prevent it.

Anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and unease, and can be triggered by various factors such as stress, trauma, or even genetics. One of the lesser-known symptoms of anxiety is dry mouth. While it may seem like a small inconvenience, dry mouth can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. In this blog, we will explore five ways anxiety causes dry mouth and how to prevent it.

Causes of dry mouth

  • Stress is a major contributor to both anxiety and dry mouth. When you are feeling anxious, your body goes into a state of fight or flight, triggering the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can cause your salivary glands to produce less saliva, resulting in a dry mouth. 
  • Several medications used to treat anxiety can also contribute to dry mouth. These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics.
  • When we are feeling anxious, our body tends to take in more oxygen than we need, leading to hyperventilation. This can cause you to start breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. Mouth breathing can cause the moisture in your mouth to evaporate quickly, leaving you with a dry mouth.
  • Anxiety can also lead to dehydration, which can exacerbate dry mouth. When we are anxious, our body's natural response is to sweat more, which can cause us to lose fluids and become dehydrated. 
  • Finally, anxiety can also lead to poor oral hygiene habits, which can contribute to dry mouth. When we are feeling anxious, our focus is often on our thoughts and feelings, rather than taking care of our physical health. This can lead to neglecting our oral hygiene routine, such as brushing and flossing regularly.

How to prevent dry mouth which happens due to anxiety

  • To prevent this from happening, it is important to find ways to manage your stress levels. This can include practising relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. 
  • If you are taking medication for anxiety and experience dry mouth as a side effect, it is essential to speak with your doctor. 
  • To avoid this, try to be mindful of your breathing when you feel anxious. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This will help regulate your breathing and prevent dry mouth.
  • To prevent dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you feel anxious. 
  • Make sure to maintain a good oral hygiene routine even when you are feeling anxious. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once a day. Also, try to limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Remember, taking care of your mental and physical health go hand in hand, and addressing one can help improve the other.

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