Causes and Treatment of Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

A family dentist treats patients for a number of oral health problems, one of which is xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth.

In addition to a dry feeling in the mouth, other symptoms of xerostomia may include bad breath, a burning or tingling sensation in the mouth or sores inside of the oral cavity.

Xerostomia is uncomfortable, but it can also have serious consequences for your dental health. Saliva is essential for clearing bacteria from the mouth. When a patient has insufficient saliva, that bacteria can proliferate. This is a concern because those bacteria are at fault for oral diseases like tooth decay and gum disease, which not only adversely affect the smile but also a patient’s overall well-being. 

Xerostomia is uncomfortable, but it can also have serious consequences for your dental health.

A lack of saliva can also affect your ability to process and digest your food, potentially compromising your nutrition.

Before the family dentist can treat the problem, it’s important to understand what is causing your dry mouth. A number of factors may be at fault.

Often the culprit is a medication or medical treatment. Numerous drugs list dry mouth among their list of side effects, and they are used to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from depression to high blood pressure to asthma. Additionally, radiation for certain head and neck cancers can damage the salivary glands and limit their production capacity.

If medication is causing your dry mouth, then the easy solution may be to discontinue the medication. If that is not possible for health reasons, your dentist may recommend an artificial saliva substitute. You also may be able to increase saliva production by staying well hydrated and sucking on sugar-free candies.

General dehydration may also cause dry mouth, and this may be overcome by increasing water intake.

Tobacco use can also lead to dry mouth, and this is yet another compelling reason to kick the habit if you smoke cigarettes or chew snuff.

If dry mouth has been bothering you, talk to your family dentist at Euro Dental Studio to explore the cause and identify some potential treatments.

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