Do you suffer with dry mouth? Experiencing dry mouth may only seem like a nuisance but persistent dryness can affect your oral health greatly. If you have prolonged oral dryness, we recommend discussing this with our team so that we can make sure your wellbeing is not in danger.
The clinical term for persistent dry mouth is xerostomia, and this condition can affect the health of your teeth and gums. Fortunately, our dentist can help determine the underlying causes of dry mouth, recommend tips for overcoming it, and provide treatment, if necessary.
Causes of Dry Mouth
A number of conditions and lifestyle factors can cause xerostomia. Even the medications you take can cause dry mouth. Medical conditions like diabetes can affect saliva production, which in turn, can cause dry mouth. Any condition that affects saliva production will cause xerostomia. Additionally, some medications—both over the counter and prescription – can have a drying effect on the mouth. Anti-depressants and allergy medication are common contributors to dry mouth. Lifestyle habits like smoking, inadequate water consumption, and diets high in salt will also dry out soft oral tissues.
Oral health conditions also contribute to dry mouth and can even exacerbate its symptoms. Patients with periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, and abscesses should be wary of dry mouth.
Treating Persistent Dry Mouth
Sometimes, changes to your lifestyle can alleviate symptoms of dry mouth. Increasing water intake, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and reducing sodium in your diet can easily improve oral health. If medications or health conditions are responsible for dry mouth, our dentist may recommend increasing water consumption to keep the mouth moist and using mouth rinses to help with saliva production. Chewing sugar-free gum can also increase saliva production.
Since dry mouth can be a sign of a bigger problem or contribute to oral health conditions, including dental caries and gum disease, it is important that patients schedule routine checkups and cleanings.
If you struggle with dry mouth, call our practice at 281-256-6866 to reserve an appointment with our team.