What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, happens when saliva is not being produced properly by the glands in your mouth, resulting in your mouth being dry on a continual basis.
What causes dry mouth?
Dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors, including tobacco use. Many prescription and over the counter medications have dry mouth as a side effect, as well as medical procedures like chemotherapy, radiation, and gland removal. Even some injuries can result in dry mouth. In many cases, dry mouth is caused simply from dehydration. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if a medication or treatment may be causing this.
How to tell if you have dry mouth?
If you have some of these symptoms, you may be suffering from dry mouth:
- Continual dry mouth, throat, or nasal passage
- Bad breath
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, chewing
- Excessive thirst
- Burning or tingling on tongue
- Sores or cracked lips
- Tooth decay
What if dry mouth goes untreated?
Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but can cause some serious health issues if left untreated. It can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and cavities. Dry mouth can also make it harder to wear dentures and can cause severe mouth infections or even thrush.
How to prevent or treat dry mouth.
If you suffer from dry mouth, don’t worry, here is a list of possible solutions you can try on your own or discuss with your doctor or dentist on your next visit.
- Change of medication or dosage
- Medication to increase saliva
- Drinking water
- Use sugar-free gum or candy
- Breathe through your nose instead of mouth
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and rinse
- Use a room humidifier