Maybe you’ve been feeling thirsty lately. Perhaps you have a sore or dry throat or are experiencing a sticky or dry feeling in your mouth. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may have a condition known as dry mouth, or xerostomia. Other symptoms include cracked lips and sores, bad breath, and difficulty tasting food. If you notice that you are chronically unable to produce enough saliva, it is time to visit Gentling Dental Care in Rochester, MN to speak with your dentist about treating dry mouth.
Did you know that there are six salivary glands in your mouth that are responsible for producing two to four pints of saliva every day? If you experience dry mouth, your body is not producing enough saliva. Aside from the uncomfortable sensation this creates, those who experience dry mouth face a higher risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and various other mouth infections. People who wear dentures may also find that it is more difficult to wear their dentures as saliva helps provide the suction that helps hold everything in place.
Dry mouth has a wide range of causes. It can be a side effect of medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, pain medicines, or cold medicines. Xerostomia can also be caused by medical conditions such as hypertension and stroke, or symptoms of illness such as cold, fever or vomiting. Dry mouth can also be caused by medical treatments such as chemotherapy which can damage the salivary glands.
If you are concerned about dry mouth, start by examining your current lifestyle. Smoking and chewing tobacco can affect saliva production, so you may consider limiting these habits. Look for a mouthwash with xylitol as an ingredient, which is designed specifically for treating dry mouth. Avoid any mouthwash that contains alcohol as this can actually dry your mouth further. Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated. Limit your coffee intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier. Breathe through your nose when possible instead of through your mouth. Consider using a room vaporizer in your bedroom to add moisture to the air.
During your next regular dental appointment, speak with your dentist about treating dry mouth. They may recommend you speak with your primary care physician about adjusting the dosage of any medicine you are taking, or suggest switching medicines all together. They may also prescribe a medication that will increase saliva production or recommend an artificial saliva substitute. Be sure that you are also brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste during your treatment. People with a dry mouth are at an increased risk of developing tooth decay.
Dry mouth is easily treatable with the proper steps. Examine your lifestyle and schedule an appointment at Gentling Dental Care in Rochester, MN if you are experiencing the symptoms of dry mouth. Whether temporary or recurring, our staff can advise and guide you in the best way to treat xerostomia and restore you to full oral health. Please call 507-288-7379 to schedule an appointment today.