Dry mouth can be a very serious and very frustrating condition. The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, and it can cause a lot of uncomfortable effects such as bad breath, difficulty chewing or swallowing, bad taste in your mouth, increase plaque and tartar buildup, and mouth sores.
Saliva is critical to neutralizing the acids in your mouth and washing away bacteria. The reason we worry about dry mouth so much in dentistry is that it can lead to an aggressive deterioration of your teeth and rapid tooth loss.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
There are many things that can cause dry mouth such as, certain medical conditions like Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes, strokes, and non-medical conditions like smoking, chemotherapy radiation. But the most common thing that we see is that it's a side effect of many medications. There are literally thousands of medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. And, we often see dry mouth as an issue with patients who are on multiple medications.
Dry Mouth Treatments
The most important step is scheduling an appointment with us so we can perform a thorough examination and review your health history. Sometimes we can work with your physicians to alter your medications.
We also recommend staying hydrated with six to eight glasses of water a day.
Avoid sugary drinks such as soda and sweetened tea.
Run a humidifier in your home.
Try sugarless candies with xylitol to stimulate saliva.
Prescribed toothpastes, rinses, and sprays with xylitol.
Xylitol helps to inhibit tooth decay.
If you have dry mouth, it's really important that you come in for regular dental checkups so we can help maintain your teeth and strengthen them. Often, we'll provide fluoride varnish or give you a prescription for a high fluoride toothpaste. And it's really, really important that you maintain meticulous oral hygiene.
If you are suffering from dry mouth, contact us at Coshocton Dentistry today so we can help you discover why your mouth is dry and then develop a plan to treat it and keep you healthy!