Are you or your child experiencing a persistent dry feeling in your mouth? Do you find it difficult to swallow, speak, or taste?
If so, you may be dealing with a condition known as dry mouth or xerostomia.
Dry mouth can wreak havoc on oral health, hindering saliva production, the natural cleanser and protector of teeth and gums.
We’ve got you covered with expert advice on how to prevent, identify, and treat it.
Dry Mouth Can Affect Your Teeth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition where the mouth feels dry due to decreased saliva production. Saliva is vital in maintaining oral health by washing away food particles, neutralizing acid, and preventing tooth decay.
Symptoms of dry mouth may include:
- A dry, sticky feeling in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or tasting
- Bad breath
- Dry or cracked lips
- Mouth sores
- Sore throat
Various factors, including medication side effects, certain medical conditions, nerve damage, dehydration, and lifestyle habits, can cause dry mouth.
Some common medications that may cause dry mouth include antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, and painkillers.
If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to the following:
Without sufficient saliva to wash away food particles and neutralize acid, bacteria can thrive and cause cavities.
Dry mouth can increase the risk of gum disease due to the lack of saliva’s antibacterial properties.
The lack of saliva can also increase the risk of mouth infections, such as thrush.
Difficulty wearing dentures
Dry mouth can make wearing dentures uncomfortable and increase the risk of sores.
Try these if you or your child may have dry mouth.
If you or your child take regular medication(s), tell your doctor about the dryness you are experiencing and see if dry mouth is one of the side effects.
Take regular sips of fluid. It is imperative that your mouth continually stay moist and wash away food debris throughout the day, and water is always best.
Sleep with a humidifier in the room. This can be really soothing, especially if you are prone to sleeping with your mouth open.
Don’t smoke. This will definitely aggravate the dryness!
Practice good oral hygiene. When we don’t have enough saliva, we must brush more frequently! That’s because dry mouth lacks a natural way for food and bacteria to be flushed out consistently.
Don’t forget to see your dentist twice a year. This is a good practice, whether you have dry mouth or not!
Dry mouth can impact your and your child’s oral health and quality of life.
Whether it’s caused by medication side effects, medical conditions, or lifestyle habits, identifying the cause of dry mouth and seeking appropriate treatment with Dr. Luchini is crucial.
By staying hydrated, practicing good oral hygiene habits, and working with Dr. Luchini, you can keep dry mouth at bay and maintain healthy teeth and gums for you and your child.
Call us today to discover if you or your child have dry mouth and how we can help.
- Call us at 509.252.4746
We are proud to serve the people of Spokane, WA, and welcome visitors from the neighboring areas.