Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and can occur for numerous reasons. Illness, medications, and certain medical treatments can result in dry mouth … anxiety can lead to that dry, sticky feeling as well. If you experience dry mouth frequently, you may be suffering from xerostomia. There are solutions; a visit with your dentist will help to diagnose what is at the base of your dry mouth and things you can do to bring relief.
If you have suffered a medical problem or illness, your medication or treatment rendered could result in a dry mouth. Your dental professional may be able to find an alternative medication to ease the problem.
Patients that suffer with allergies or cold symptoms may take an antihistamine or decongestant. The ingredients in these types of drugs will not only dry out your sinuses, but will work on your mouth and throat too. Running a fever can dry the mouth also … consuming lots of fluids are recommended when these conditions are present.
When you are nervous or anxious, you might experience the sensation of a dry mouth. This is often temporary, and when you relax your saliva production problem may be resolved.
Thinking that your dry mouth is no big deal could be a mistake … there are problems beyond basic thirst that could occur if dry mouth is allowed to continue. You could develop mouth sores, chapped lips, a dry or sore throat and/or tongue, and chronic bad breath. The risk of developing dental decay or gum disease increases as well.
These problems associated with dry mouth are due to a lack of saliva production. Think of saliva as the body’s personal mouth wash continually cleansing the mouth of harmful bacteria. Saliva glands can often be coaxed into working by sucking on sugar free candy or chewing sugar free gum. Staying hydrated with water is helpful; avoid caffeinated beverages.
Brush with a fluoridated tooth paste to keep teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Your dentist will be able to recommend an over the counter saliva substitute to help as well.
The problems associated with dry mouth often increase as we age. This can make wearing partials and dentures difficult, so make sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist.
For more information or to schedule your next dental exam, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.