A dry mouth (xerostomia) is a common condition that affects most adults. It’s often a side effect of certain medications and can be treated.
A dentist in Phoenix, AZ, can help determine the cause of dry mouth. They can review your medication list and order tests to determine what’s causing your mouth to dry.
A dry mouth is caused by the saliva glands in your mouth not making enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Saliva helps to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth.
It also lubricates the soft tissue in your mouth, helping prevent injury to your gums and cheeks. Without enough saliva, it isn’t easy to chew and talk properly.
Medications can also reduce saliva production and cause dry mouth, including antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, and oral contraceptives (birth control). Some people experience dry mouth due to head and neck cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy can damage the salivary glands and cause them to produce less saliva. Nerve damage from surgery or injury to the head and neck area can also cause dry mouth.
Dehydration is another common cause of dry mouth. You may be dehydrated if you are sick or not drinking, or sweating a lot.
People with dry mouths can experience pain, difficulty swallowing, and a change in taste. They may also have problems with their dentures, halitosis, and mouth sores.
Several medications can cause dry mouth. If you suspect that dry mouth is a side effect of a drug, visit a dental office in Phoenix, and a dentist may adjust or change the medication.
Treatment options are available to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent complications like tooth decay and gum disease. A good oral hygiene routine can also help, reducing the risk of tooth decay and dental infections.
To get started, your doctor may review your medical history and medications to see if any of these might be causing your dry mouth. If so, your doctor may recommend changes to the dosage or a saliva substitute. The dentist may prescribe prescription medications to stimulate your salivary glands, helping to increase your natural supply of saliva. They’re available as a tablet, lozenge, or drops.
Dry mouth can be prevented with the following tips:
Do you ever feel like you’re not getting enough restful sleep or wake up groggy and tired? You may be experiencing the effects of dehydration. It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only can drinking more water help your body regulate its temperature, but it can also prevent dehydration, help your body relax, and improve your overall health.
Saliva is essential for our oral care. It helps to maintain the health of our teeth and gums and to protect them from bacteria and other microorganisms. Unfortunately, some of us suffer from dry mouth or xerostomia, which can make it difficult to produce enough saliva to keep our teeth and gums healthy. For those that suffer from dry mouth, using a saliva substitute can provide the same benefits as natural saliva. Saliva substitutes help to protect teeth and gums from bacterial infection while also helping to maintain the pH balance in the mouth. They can also help to reduce bad breath. Saliva substitutes are available in various forms, including sprays, gels, and tablets.
Sleep apnea and snoring have long been reported to cause dry mouth. Visiting a dental clinic in Arizona is vital if you suffer from snoring. The dentist may recommend a mouthguard or mouth splint that helps to reduce snoring.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Limit caffeine consumption and use a humidifier in your home at night. You can also chew sugarless gum, suck on ice chips or drink a diluted version of fruit juice to stimulate your salivary glands and help you stay hydrated.
A dry mouth is a common condition that can be uncomfortable and annoying. Taking steps to prevent dry mouth while sleeping can help reduce your symptoms and help you get a better night’s rest. Visit Encanto Family Dental Care if you have any additional questions or concerns about the dry mouth or our general dentistry services that can help prevent the condition.