Everyone knows what it feels like to have a dry mouth. For example, think back to when you woke up this morning, or the last time you didn’t drink enough on a hot, summer day.
But what if your mouth is unusually or persistently dry? You may be suffering from a condition known as xerostomia.
What Is Xerostomia?
Xerostomia is a condition in which saliva flows much less than normal. Xerostomia isn’t a disease; it’s more of a symptom. But it’s a sign that something isn’t right and the diagnosis could lead to the discovery of other serious conditions. That’s because persistent dry mouth leads to various problems. A severe lack of saliva makes chewing and swallowing more difficult. Suffering from this could make you want to eat less, leading to malnutrition. Saliva also contains proteins and minerals that keep your tooth enamel strong, while helping to neutralize the acids found in our mouth. Less saliva means a greater chance of halitosis (bad breath), tooth decay, and gum disease.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
What’s behind your persistent dry mouth? There are several potential causes, including the following:
- Medication – There are a variety of medications that could be causing or contributing to dry mouth. If you currently take any medications regularly, check the list of side effects.
- Radiation – Radiation therapy, especially that around the head or neck, may cause damage to your salivary glands.
- Disease – Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS are just a few diseases known to cause dry mouth.
These are just a few causes of dry mouth. Your dentist can help you determine what’s going on in your case.
How Can I Fight Dry Mouth?
If you’re suffering from chronic dry mouth, it’s important that you make an appointment with your Carmichael dentist as soon as possible. We at the Marconi Dental Group can help diagnose the problem and get you on the road to proper treatment.
In the meantime, you could try some of the following suggestions:
- Drink water. It’s important to keep your mouth moist, especially when eating. Drinking more water can help compensate for the underproducing salivary glands.
- Avoid very dry food and beverages. Eating dry toast, crackers, salty and spicy foods, and drinking diuretics such as alcohol or caffeinated drinks can contribute towards dry mouth.
- No smoking. Smoking will make dry mouth worse and greatly increases the risk of gum disease.
- Avoid breathing through your mouth. By breathing through your nose, you help to keep your mouth moist.
If you’re suffering from dry mouth, it’s especially important to keep up a good oral hygiene routine as your mouth will be even more susceptible to the dangers of acid and bacteria.
If you haven’t yet made an appointment with a Carmichael dental office, give us a call at the Marconi Dental Group today. We’ll be happy to help you rid yourself of this problem, once and for all.
Video Overview: Dry Mouth
This video provides an overview of the causes and symptoms of dry mouth, as well as oral health complications that can arise from it and the importance of seeking treatment.