Saliva is necessary to a healthy mouth. It washes away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria. It aids in chewing, swallowing and digestion, and it enhances the ability to taste.
When the salivary glands of the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth lubricated, the condition is known as dry mouth. In addition to being uncomfortable, dry mouth can raise the risk of oral health problems including tooth decay, mouth sores and chapped lips. It can also contribute to bad breath, a sore throat or tongue and difficulty chewing or swallowing.
If you are experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of dry mouth, Drs. Ali and Shery Mansouri of Serene Dental Center can help. Here, we explain what you need to know about the causes of and treatments for dry mouth.
Potential Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by any of the following:
- Issues associated with aging
- Side effect of a medical condition like diabetes
- Side effect of a medication
- Result of radiation therapy
- Drinking alcoholic of caffeinated beverages
- Using tobacco
- Eating salty or spicy foods
- Breathing through the mouth
Treating Dry Mouth
The first step to treating dry mouth is to meet with one of our dentists and discuss your condition. Our dentists will perform a thorough examination of your mouth and ask you questions to determine the cause of the problem. We may inquire about your health status, current medications, diet and lifestyle. In some cases, we may order blood tests or imaging scans of your salivary glands, and possibly send a sample of your salivary glands to a lab for testing. Based on this examination and conversation, we should determine what is causing your dry mouth, and we will lay out a plan for treating it and helping you maintain good oral health.
Treatment usually depends on the exact cause of the problem. We may recommend adjusting the dosage of any medications that are causing your dry mouth, or switching to another medication. We can recommend products to help keep your mouth moist, such as mouth rinses designed for dry mouth.
We can also give you some home remedies to ease your symptoms, such as sucking on ice chips or chewing sugar-free gum. And, we will go over oral hygiene tips, as oral hygiene is especially important for people with dry mouth. We may recommend an in-office fluoride treatment or a take-home fluoride mouthrinse to protect your teeth from decay.
In the most severe cases, we might need to prescribe a medication that stimulates saliva.
Contact Serene Dental Center
If you believe you are suffering from dry mouth, our team welcomes you to book a consultation. Please call or email us for an appointment today.