Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be annoying and troublesome. This condition is caused by an inadequate supply of saliva, which leaves your mouth feeling very dry. It is actually not a specific disorder, but rather, it is a symptom of another issue. Many older adults suffer from dry mouth, and it’s usually caused by certain medications.
Symptoms of dry mouth
- Uncomfortable dryness in the mouth
- Tooth decay
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Stringy or thick saliva
- Speaking and/or swallowing problems
- Cracking lips
? Is dry mouth a bad thing?
For many adults, dry mouth is annoying rather than a serious problem. However, it can possibly lead to other serious conditions if not treated or taken care of properly.
You need to understand the purpose of saliva– to keep the mouth tissues lubricated, to keep our teeth clean, and to help digest food. Well, if you have an inadequate supply of saliva, these things cannot happen as optimally as they should. This can lead to problems with speaking and eating, as well as tooth decay.
? Why do some people have dry mouth and others do not?
In most cases, dry mouth happens as a result of medication side effects. In fact, there are hundreds of medications that list dry mouth as one of the side effects.
How to treat dry mouth
- If, in your scenario, it is determined that dry mouth is a side effect of medication, ask your doctor if there is a different medication he or she can prescribe (one that doesn’t cause dry mouth).
- Another thing that helps those who suffer from dry mouth is drinking lots of water throughout the day. Take frequent sips of water throughout the day.
- You can also try sugar-free gum, ice chips, or candy to stimulate saliva production.
- It is also a good idea to limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
Avoid tobacco products.
- Steer clear of overly salty or spicy foods, which can exacerbate the dry mouth condition.
Dry mouth treatment at Washington Smiles
Schedule your consultation appointment with one of our dentists to determine the underlying cause of dry mouth. We can help to rule out serious conditions and provide proper treatment and remedies (i.e. oral rinses, artificial saliva products, etc).
It is always important to maintain great oral hygiene on a consistent basis to minimize the risk of tooth decay due to dry mouth. Call us today to schedule your consultation appointment and get rid of dry mouth.