Dry Mouth and How to Treat It
October 16th, 2020
Dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, results from the salivary glands not producing sufficient saliva, which can increase your risk of developing dental problems and may impact your quality of life. Your trusted team at Avalon Dental Care is here to help treat dry mouth and alleviate its symptoms. You can always count on us for outstanding care!
What Are the Causes of Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can result from the natural aging process, dehydration, a condition affecting the salivary glands, mouth breathing, nerve damage, cancer therapy, the use of certain medications, or certain health conditions. It can also result from smoking, alcohol, or recreational drug use.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth symptoms include a sticky mouth, thick and stringy saliva, a dry or grooved tongue, a sore throat, and a hoarse voice. Patients often report difficulty chewing and swallowing, changes in the way they taste and smell, difficulty wearing dentures, and bad breath, a condition known as halitosis.
What Are the Impacts of Dry Mouth?
Saliva is essential to your oral health. It helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease by washing away food particles and neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria. It also helps with chewing, swallowing, and digestion, and enhances your ability to taste the different flavors of your foods.
A decrease in saliva production can impact your oral health and your appetite and food enjoyment. Patients with dry mouth are at risk of plaque accumulation, tooth decay, gum disease, yeast infection (thrush), and cracked lips. Dry mouth often results in poor nutrition due to difficulty chewing and swallowing, leaving the body susceptible to developing a host of health problems.
Dry Mouth Management and Treatment
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your dry mouth. If medication is behind it, your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage or switch you to another drug.
Recommendations to keep your mouth moist include drinking plenty of water, sucking on hard candy, chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production, or using over-the-counter or prescription mouth rinses. Artificial saliva and mouthwashes containing xylitol can also help. Consider limiting caffeine intake and alcohol use, and avoid tobacco products because these habits can dehydrate you, aggravating your dry mouth.
If the condition persists, you may require medications to stimulate saliva production. We may also recommend fluoride treatments and medicated rinses to strengthen your teeth and make them more resistant to tooth decay.
Dry Mouth Treatment in the El Segundo and Lomita Areas
Contact Avalon Dental Care if you continue to experience dry mouth symptoms. We will work to diagnose the underlying causes of your condition and will create a treatment and management plan. We are all about maintaining healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!