You may feel that your mouth is never moist enough. No matter how much water you drink, you feel like a desert, and you are never satisfied. Your dentist may tell you that you have a condition called Xerostomia, better known as dry mouth. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and has many causes, but it indeed can be treated.
When a person has dry mouth, he or she usually experiences many other symptoms besides simply feeling parched all the time. For example, he or she may have cracked lips and mouth sores. In addition, having a sore throat and struggling to speak, swallow or eat may be a problem. Furthermore, you may notice that your breath is foul.
Dry mouth has many causes:
- Certain drugs cause dry mouth. For instance, antihistamines, which are used to treat allergy symptoms, are linked to reducing saliva flow in people. Chemotherapy treatments in cancer patients can also have this effect. In addition, alcohol and tobacco can make your mouth feel dry. The more medications or drugs a person takes, the more severe the problem becomes.
- Dry mouth can stem from serious health issues, such as autoimmune deficiency syndrome or the human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS/HIV). Furthermore, if you have Sjögren’s syndrome—an autoimmune disease in which your immune cells attack your saliva-producing exocrine glands—then you also may suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth additionally is linked to diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, among other health conditions.
Dry mouth can negatively affect your gums and teeth because it increases your chances of gum disease and tooth decay as well as mouth infections, such as thrush. This is because saliva plays the very important role of washing away unwanted food debris and bacteria. In addition, having an unusually dry mouth can put any cosmetic dental work that you have had done at risk.
Your dentist can prescribe for you medications that stimulate saliva flow and thus provide relief. You can also use toothpastes, moisturizing gels and mouthwash that are specially formulated for people with dry mouth, and artificial saliva products can help as well.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help keep your mouth moist and healthy for years to come.