Have you ever woken up and felt like your mouth was so dry that you could barely speak or swallow? Does this sensation come about during the day, making you feel uncomfortable and desperate for a mint or a glass of water? If so, you’re probably experiencing chronic dry mouth and you’re not alone. This is a chronic condition that negatively affects many people’s quality of life, and potentially even their long-term health.
There are many possible causes for Dry Mouth Syndrome, which is also known as xerostomia. It can be a side effect of certain medications, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or it could be the result of more day-to-day problems like stress, depression or nutritional deficiencies. People who suffer from Dry Mouth Syndrome can struggle with speaking, swallowing, chewing and even tasting their foods. Plus, this lack of saliva can make it difficult for the mouth’s natural cleaning processes to occur, leading to increased chances of tooth decay and oral infections.
Fortunately, your physician and dentist can treat most cases of dry mouth. When dry mouth is a side effect of a medication you’re taking, your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage to a level that relieves the problem. In other cases, additional medications can be prescribed that will increase the amount of saliva produced by your salivary glands.
There is a lot you can do in your day-to-day life to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. Drink plenty of water, avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, don’t smoke and limit your alcohol consumption, and limit the amount of spicy and salty foods you consume.
People with dry mouth have less saliva flow, and this can cause serious problems. Saliva limits the growth of oral bacteria and washes away food debris and plaque, making saliva an important component in your body’s ability to fight tooth decay.
To increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, suck on sugar-free candies and chew sugar free gum.
Everyone knows they’re supposed to brush and floss at least twice each day, but this is especially important for dry mouth sufferers – it will remove the food particles that aren’t be washed away by saliva as much as they should, which will minimize the risk of tooth decay.
Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions about Dry Mouth Syndrome. We’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your situation and develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.