Don’t Ignore Dry Mouth

It can range from being annoying to downright uncomfortable— but if left untreated, dry mouth can actually do dental damage. Let’s look at some of the facts about dry mouth.
A woman drinking water before bedtime

It can range from being annoying to downright uncomfortable— but if left untreated, dry mouth can actually do dental damage. Let’s look at some of the facts about dry mouth.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is simply reduced saliva flow, and it is common among older adults. Problems associated with dry mouth include chronic sore throat, burning sensations, trouble speaking and/or swallowing, hoarseness and dry nasal passages.

The Importance of Saliva

Saliva lubricates and clears your mouth of excess food. It also neutralizes the acids produced by plaque. Without enough saliva to help perform these functions, dry mouth raises your risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and mouth infections such as thrush. It can also make it difficult to wear dentures.

Dry Mouth Causes and Treatments

Dry mouth is a common side  effect of many prescription and non-prescription drugs, including antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics. It can also be a side effect associated with certain medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension and more. Tobacco use can also be a factor. An examination of your mouth and a review of your medical history can help us determine whether you have xerostomia.

A change or adjustment in medications may help alleviate dry mouth. We may also prescribe a medication to stimulate saliva flow. Sugar-free lozenges or chewing gum, over-the-counter saliva substitutes, home humidifiers or other methods  may also help increase saliva production.  We can help before the condition becomes painful or causes dental health problems. For more information, please don’t hesitate to ask any of our friendly team members for help.

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