What You Should Know About Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

What You Should Know About Dry Mouth

Everybody experiences dryness and coughing from time to time: it can be brought on by being nervous, strenuous exercise, breathing through your mouth, snoring, and more. However, if you experience dry mouth regularly, it may be a cause for concern. Far from being just a nuisance, this issue could cause serious problems like tooth decay, mouth sores, and increased plaque.

At Shelby Dental, we know that catching a problem at its start can prevent further damage. So we put together this helpful guide on mouth dryness and its treatment for you.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when you don’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is produced by the salivary glands in your mouth and is there to keep your mouth and your teeth healthy. By keeping your teeth and mouth moist, saliva removes food particles and cleanses the mouth.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands stop producing enough saliva. This could be due to medications or radiation therapy of the head and the neck.

  • Medications that can cause dry mouth include:
  • Antidepressants and antianxiety drugs
  • Antihistamine
  • Medications for high blood pressure
  • Anticholinergics
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Chemotherapy drugs

In addition to certain medications, it can also be caused by the following factors:

  • Dehydration
  • Breathing through your mouth
    Medical conditions like stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes

What Are the Symptoms?

A dry mouth can be uncomfortable on its own, but it can also cause other conditions ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Trouble wearing dentures
  • Difficulty swallowing and eating
  • Taste disorders
  • Mouth sores
  • Increased thirst

More serious symptoms can include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dry eyes and skin
  • Joint pain

Common Treatment Options

If you have a dry mouth, it is essential to start treatment right away to prevent any further damage. You can try to address the problem by using over-the-counter rinses for dry mouth and mouthwashes containing xylitol. If this doesn’t resolve your issues, it’s time to see your dentist.

Your dentist will begin by looking for an underlying condition that may be the root cause. If your dry mouth is caused by a medication you are taking, switching to a different medication could help alleviate your symptoms. 

If medication is not the cause, your dentist may recommend products like prescription mouth rinses that can help lubricate the area. Severe cases may require the use of prescription medications that help stimulate saliva production. Your dentist could also recommend getting fitted for fluoride trays and wearing them overnight to protect your teeth. 

No matter the cause, it is important not to overlook this potentially serious condition. Addressing this condition now can help avoid future tooth decay and denture issues. So don’t wait to schedule an appointment! 

Shelby Dental Center in Calera, Alabama is Invested in Your Dental Health

Having a dry mouth can be inconvenient, but more than that, it is a condition that could cause serious damage to your teeth and mouth. If you are experiencing symptoms, don’t wait –  Contact us to schedule an appointment today!