Does your mouth feel parched? Do you have difficulty swallowing and trouble forming words? You may be one of the many people who experience dryness of the mouth from time to time. However, persistent dry mouth, also called xerostomia, can be a cause for concern. If the condition isn’t treated, you can develop cavities, gum disease and oral infections. Dry mouth causes often include medications and dehydration. Some people might experience dry mouth as a result of a disease or other medical condition. Here is some more information on dry mouth and what you can do about it.
Dry mouth means you don’t have enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth moist. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while, especially if you’re nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious health problems or indicate that a more serious medical condition may exist. That’s because saliva does more than just keep the mouth wet —it helps digest food, protects teeth from decay, prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow.
People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.
Common symptoms include:
The only permanent way to cure dry mouth is to treat its cause. If your dry mouth is the result of medication, your doctor might change your prescription or your dosage. If your salivary glands are not working properly but still produce some saliva, your doctor may give you a medicine that helps the glands work better. If the cause of your dry mouth cannot be eliminated, or until it can be, you can restore moisture to your mouth a number of different ways. Your dentist may recommend mouth moisturizers, such as a saliva substitute. Rinsing with mouthwashes specially formulated to help dry mouth may also bring relief. You can also:
Do you have any questions about dry mouth? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-655-5000 or request an appointment online.