Dry Mouth Causes and Treatment
Saliva keeps our mouth lubricated, maintain a stable pH level, and flush away food particles. If the glands that produce the saliva are not working properly or making enough, then our mouths become dry. This condition is called xerostomia, or dry mouth. It can be a difficult problem to deal with, but Sachem Dental Group in Suffolk County is here to help you keep it under control.
Gray hair, arthritis, hearing loss and vision trouble. All of these things are associated with aging. You may not know it but the older we get the more likely we are to suffer from some degree of xerostomia, making it as common as other ailments.
Other causes of dry mouth include:
● Certain medications like antidepressants, decongestants, diuretics and pain medicines
● Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose
● Stress, anxiety, and depression
● Autoimmune diseases such as HIV-AIDS and Sjogren’s Syndrome
● Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, especially in the neck and head area
Dry mouth can lead to other problems like:
● Rampant tooth decay
● Sore mouth and gums brought on by the lack of lubrication
● Mouth sores like ulcers, along with dry and cracked lips
● Bad breath
If dealing with this condition, it is important to take the following precautions and preventive measures to ensure good oral health:
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. It is a very powerful ingredient as it does more than just make things taste better. Xylitol also helps produce saliva. It has antimicrobial properties that aids in keeping your mouth clean and lubricated. There are many over the counter products containing xylitol which are especially formulated to help counteract dry mouth. Such as candies, chewing gum, mouth spray, drops, and nose spray.
A dry mouth is highly susceptible to tooth decay due to plaque adhering to the teeth and not being washed away by the saliva. Fluoride is great at preventing cavities and comes in many forms. It is found over the counter or is available in prescription strength from our office. You can find it in forms of mouth rinse, gels, foams, and varnish.
Drink plenty of water. Always have a bottle of water with you to remind yourself to drink it.
Schedule regular dental visits. Cleanings, checkups and radiographs are all essential components in maintaining good oral health.
If your medications are the cause of your dry mouth, then speak with your primary care physician. He may be able to recommend an alternative. You may even not need to be on that medication at all, or that particular dosage amount.
If your condition is caused by mouth breathing, then you should consider sleeping with a humidifier. You may need to be tested for sleep apnea and start using a CPAP machine or oral sleep appliance. Again, speak with your doctor about this.
Some things can worsen dry mouth symptoms, so you may want to avoid:
● Dry food (like crackers or bread)
● Alcoholic beverages, especially dry wine
● Breathing through your mouth
● Acidic foods (tomatoes, lemons, etc.)
● Acidic drinks (such as soda)
If you are battling dry mouth, don’t wait any longer. Sachem Dental Group in Long Island, Suffolk County is here to help you. Give us a call today!