An occasional dry mouth due to stress, fever, exercise, or taking medications designed to dry out sinuses is not a problem. However, patients that suffer from chronic dry mouth need to take action to correct this condition … your dentist can offer suggestions that may provide relief.
Xerostomia is a term that refers to patients suffering from a dry mouth due to their inability to produce sufficient saliva. It is a symptom of a medical condition or a side effect due to certain treatments rendered or medications taken.
Dry mouth can result in bad breath, sore throat, cracked lips, ailments of the tongue, and can contribute to problems with swallowing. If you do not produce enough saliva, you increase the likelihood that dental decay will occur. Saliva is considered nature’s mouthwash and is important to help flush teeth and gums during and after eating.
Certain medications contain antihistamines that will temporarily dry your mouth; but if a drug you require for long term is suspected of causing dry mouth, your dentist or doctor may be able to provide a substitute.
Some medical procedures and therapies can inhibit the ability to produce saliva. Your dentist may recommend one of the products available designed to promote saliva production. Additionally, you might try chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free candy to increase saliva production.
Smokers may suffer from dry mouth … the obvious solution is to quit using tobacco.
Sipping on water throughout the day is helpful; avoid beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol as these will exacerbate the problem.
A dry mouth can promote dental problems such as dental decay, gum disease, and if a dental prosthesis is needed, the patient may struggle to experience a comfortable fit.
Regular dental visits are important for everyone’s dental health; but if you are faced with a dry mouth condition, you will want to make sure you maintain your dental schedule. Coupled with diligent daily care that includes brushing and flossing, you will want to watch your diet and stay hydrated in an effort to prevent uncomfortable oral conditions from occurring.
If you are experiencing problems associated with dry mouth, give our dental office a call. A temporary solution may be provided; a follow up visit will be recommended for an accurate diagnosis and specific treatment for long term relief.