Xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, might seem to be a minor annoyance, but it can cause major problems with your oral health. It has various causes and in most cases is easily treated. If you have problems with dry mouth, consult our dentist for diagnosis of the root cause and recommendations for treatment.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth occurs when you do not produce sufficient saliva. As a result, your mouth feels dry and sticky, and it can be difficult to eat or talk. Some common causes of dry mouth include:
- Side effect of some medications
- Side effect of some illnesses
- Side effect of radiation and chemotherapy
- Nerve damage
- Removal of the salivary glands
- Using tobacco products
If you experience dry mouth as a side effect of medication or other causes, talk to a dentist about how to treat it. Some ways to alleviate symptoms include chewing sugar-free gum, sucking on hard candy, and drinking plenty of water. You can also use over-the-counter saliva substitutes, or your dentist might prescribe medication to help you produce more saliva.
Problems Associated with Dry Mouth
Saliva plays an important role in digestion and in your oral health. It helps wash away food particles that could cause tooth decay and also helps maintain the proper pH of your mouth. Without sufficient saliva, you are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, and thrush. It can also produce several uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Sores in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Persistent thirst
If you wear dentures, dry mouth can make them very uncomfortable. Since denture wear can also increase the likelihood of sores in the mouth and thrush, this is a bad combination.
If you have dry mouth and wear dentures, be sure to talk to our dentist about treatment that will relieve your symptoms and help prevent side effects that could be detrimental to your oral health. Call us today at 817-465-0355 to speak to our caring team and schedule an appointment!