The Prevalence of Dry Mouth
If your dentist refers to xerostomia, you may not know what he or she is referring to, but it’s all too likely you’re familiar with dry mouth. Many people have the condition at one point or another in their lives although estimates vary widely as to exactly how many. That’s became the data on the incidence of dry mouth is limited.
Dry Mouth Causes
Science has determined that there are many possible dry mouth causes. These include the toxicity of chemotherapy or radiation therapy aimed at the head and neck, autoimmune diseases, other chronic diseases, and nerve damage. Additionally, many medications can produce dry mouth, either singly or because of an unfortunate interaction. Sometimes two different doctors prescribe two different medications, each unaware of what the other is providing and thus unaware of the possibility that together they will produce xerostomia.
Dry Mouth Symptoms
Dry mouth symptoms vary from mild to severe. The reduction in salivary flow can result in problems with tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. There can also be increased risk of tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, tooth demineralization, and oral infections. Additionally, dry mouth can lead to unpleasant sensations in the mouth, mouth sores, a dry, rough tongue, a sore throat, hoarseness, bad breath, and difficulty holding removable dentures in their proper position.
Home Remedies for Dry Mouth
As you can see from the above, dry mouth symptoms can be quite unpleasant. Fortunately, there are a number of things sufferers can do to combat dry mouth. These include the following:
- Take frequent sips of water to moisten the mouth
- Use alcohol-free mouth rinses (because alcohol dries out the mouth)
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages, all of which can dry the mouth
- Chew Xylitol sweetened gum to increase salivary flow
- Avoid all forms of tobacco to avoid irritating the nose and sinuses and so increasing the risk of infection
- Sleep with a humidifier to moisten nasal passages
- Check to see if you’re taking medications associated with dry mouth
- Ask your dentist or doctor about medications that increase salivary flow
- Use over-the-counter products like Biotene toothpaste, gum spray, mouth moisturizer, and mouth rinse
- See your dentist regularly, twice a year or more often if recommended
We hope this information has proved useful. For help with dry mouth or any aspect of dental care, we invite you to contact Comfort Care Family Dental.