Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition where the salivary glands do not produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. This lack of moisture leads to a sticky, dry sensation in the mouth and can result in difficulty swallowing, speaking, or chewing. Often associated with various causes, such as certain medications, aging, radiation therapy, or underlying health conditions like diabetes or autoimmune diseases, dry mouth can also increase the risk of oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. Besides physical discomfort, it may lead to cracked lips, a sore throat, and changes in taste perception, underscoring the importance of identifying and managing its underlying causes.

Causes of Dry Mouth

  1. Medications: Certain medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants often list dry mouth as a side effect.
  2. Aging: As people age, salivary production may decrease naturally or due to age-related health issues.
  3. Radiation Therapy: Cancer treatments, particularly those targeting the head or neck, can damage salivary glands.
  4. Health Conditions: Autoimmune diseases (like Sjogren's syndrome), diabetes, and others can cause dry mouth.
  5. Nerve Damage: Injuries to the head or neck affecting the nerves can impact salivary gland function.

Managing Dry Mouth

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink water throughout the day to keep the mouth moist.
  2. Avoid Dehydrating Substances: Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, as these can dehydrate the body.
  3. Use Sugar-Free Gum or Candy: Chewing stimulates saliva production. Choose sugar-free options to avoid dental issues.
  4. Saliva Substitutes: Over-the-counter saliva substitutes can help keep the mouth moist.
  5. Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to prevent cavities, and use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
  6. Humidifier: Using a humidifier while sleeping can prevent nighttime dryness.
  7. Consult a Doctor or Dentist: They may adjust medications causing dry mouth or prescribe special medications to stimulate saliva production.

View all Dental Blogs
Dental Ben's logo -Dentist in Peoria, AZ 85383
25101 N Lake Pleasant Parkway
Suite B-1335
Peoria, AZ 85383
Fax 480-681-0921
Dental Ben's © 2022