Saliva plays an important role in oral health. Saliva helps control the bacteria and fungi in your mouth which helps prevent infections. If you don’t have enough saliva your mouth can get uncomfortable and dry. This condition is also known as xerostomia. Fortunately, there are several simple treatments which can help dry mouth.
Causes of dry mouth
Dry mouth can be the result of many things. One of the most common causes are medications. Certain medications reduce the amount of saliva produced in your mouth. Medications which treat anxiety, pain, depression, allergies, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions can all reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth.
Dry mouth may also be a side effect of certain conditions. These include HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, mumps, and stroke. Certain medical treatments including damage to the salivary glands from radiation to the neck and head as well as chemotherapy for cancer may affect the amount of salvia in the mouth. Smoking can also contribute to a dry mouth.
Symptoms of a Dry Mouth
You may notice several symptoms of a dry mouth. These can include the following:
- Frequent thirst
- A dry sticky mouth
- Split skin at the sides of the mouth and/or sores in the mouth
- Dry throat
- A burning or tingling on the tongue and in the mouth
- Hoarseness, sore throat, dry nasal passages and bad breath
- Problems chewing, swallowing, or trouble tasting
Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease if left untreated. Treatment for dry mouth is easy and painless.
Treatment for Dry Mouth
If you suspect a medication is causing dry mouth, consult with your doctor about the possibility of changing your medication. Dr. Taylor may prescribe an oral rinse which promotes salvia production and keeps your mouth hydrated. She may also prescribe a medication to help the production of saliva.
Some of the things you can do to help relieve a dry mouth include sucking on hard candy, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, use a vaporizer at night to add moisture to the air, try to breathe through your mouth not your nose, and use an over the counter oral rinse.
While a dry mouth can be uncomfortable, this condition is usually very easy to treat. It is important not to ignore a dry mouth as this condition can contribute to tooth decay and gingivitis. Call or contact us today if you have any symptoms of a dry mouth and find out how easy it is to get relief.